Truchet/Smith inspired designs 2 meet ArahPaint

Added explorations of the Smith tiles.
Most common knitting machines capable of accepting electronic pattern downloads have a number of needles ranging between 180 and 200 on either of the available beds.
Punchcard machines have a 24-stitch constraint in width for repeats that are selected in fixed locations on the top bed, while height row counts can be endless if one keeps joining punchcards together.
The narrow repeat width does not allow for impactful tiling such as seen in the truchet variants.
A 24-stitch initial repeat can be created, but will not align properly ie. here:
the 24X56 png, colored in and repeated in width and height X3. It can, however, be drawn in repeat using ArahPaint to produce a new and successful design repeat ie this 48X112 pixels version and its appearance in repeat on a larger canvas: Electronic machines can be used to knit large, non-repetitive designs based on the number of needles available on their beds.
Unless knit-from-screen software is used, the size of the files downloaded to specific machine models varies depending on both the software used and the knitting machine’s available memory.
One of the issues using online generators as seen in the previous post is that the files tend to be high in pixel counts and rendered in RGB mode.
Changing image modes to BW indexed and scaling the large design to a smaller version have an effect on the edge definition of the shapes and are likely to require clean-up to remove or add pixels.
Beginning with small and clearly defined forms, tiling repeatedly to larger ones will allow for results that can be cropped to specific sizes with clean edges along the secondary shapes.
Beginning the proposed method with the Smith tile, a place to start is to choose the smallest successful circular forms.
The repeat works using quarter squares, so the file size needs to be an even number of pixels in width and height.
Getting a sense of the appearance of the edges of small circular shapes, with the intent of choosing one for fabric development, beginning with an 8-pixel diameter, and increasing it in turn by 2 pixels at a time to 20.  The 8-pixel circle is chosen for this exercise.
Following the steps outlined by the developer in the video viewable on Instagram and Facebook, open a new picture, and set the image size to 8X8 pixels The goal is to create a clean design outline forming shapes that may be filled in to yield the secondary tiling designs.
To zoom in or out in ArahPaint: use Shift+ or – on Mac, click on the magnifying lens icons in the toolbox, use the command key and roll the mouse wheel or scroll along the vertical center line of the mouse, or press any number from 0-9 on the keyboard to change zoom directly to that level (1 means 100%, 6 means 600%, O means 1000%).
In RGB mode even if the shapes are drawn in black, when converted to indexed BW some pixels will be lost. If any lines are broken, control in using the bucket fill tool on only selected areas is lost.
To begin with, set the number of colors and the pencil size to one pixel   Use the draw circle tool, and select drawing from the center Draw a quarter circle starting on the bottom right of the square, and ending in the center of this image. In this case, there will be 4 white pixels on the left of the line, half the diameter of the planned circle. Click on the pencil tool to set the image. Repeat the Process, drawing a mirrored image beginning on the upper left pixel position, and ending in the center of the image as well Open the drawing in the repeat window and set the number of repeats vertically and horizontally, done here first in standard alignmentDo not click on random, select new picture, OK. If satisfied, save the png. Undo may be used to revert to the original file unless new picture was left unchecked.
For the Smith tile repeat, do click on random to apply different rotations of the repeat.
Load the 8X8 file
Zoom out to check the pattern and view changes adequately
Open the draw in repeat window
Click on random, and the proposed rotations will appear as symbols,  click on new picture and then on OK to view the result, a file that will now be 32X48 pixels. The result can be saved. To preview other arrangements:
choose undo, return to draw in repeat, random, preview, and with each repeated click on random a new image will appear on the screen. At any point select new picture, OK, and save the result.  The final png for test knitting for my test swatch Its segments bucket filled with black  If bucket fill fails selectively and floods the whole image, return to drawing in repeat and click on close. Return to the image and continue the fill-in process.
Developing a larger repeat to select an area of interest while keeping in mind the maximum needle width of 200. This repeat is perhaps useful cropped to blanket size.  Seeking a shorter and narrower motif for a scarf, in the range of 60 to 100 pixels in width that may not require too many tracks when programming the 930, the same 32X48 design is drawn in repeat X4 in width, X2 in height to 128X96 pixels. The above is split directly in half vertically for this exercise, rendering two files, each composed of 64X96 pixels. The left half,   and the right Checking vertical alignments and committing to the one on the right for the test swatch, knit on 60 stitches for 120 design rows, using KCI and starting with dark color from left.    That shape in blue that looks almost rectangular is actually not quite circular in the repeat, seen here color-reversed on the bottom right, with the definition also slightly lost in the knit due to the stitch size and birdseye stitches twist.  Comparing the 3 swatches in scale and shape definition: While the definition of the circular shapes is an issue in knitting the Smith variant, the truchet triangles pose a different issue in knit design.
Sewers are familiar with quilting block designs easily found in print and online that technically may be broken down into triangular blocks joined and meeting to form sharp points.

Truchet in his publication used half-square triangles and assigned letters to the segments,   providing alphabetical references in illustrations for the permutations,  all far easier to achieve nowadays with the aid of software.
In ArahPaint, begin with choosing a square size, in this instance, 8 pixels by 8 pixels, matching that in the exercise using circles, and draw a triangle filling the canvas from corner to corner Drawing in repeat, the choice is made to repeat the triangles twice in both width and height, the preview symbols for the rotations of the shape are illustrated pointing in the same direction by default.  Clicking on any of those half-arrow shapes will rotate the specific shape in the tiled design, this becomes an action that may be influenced manually.  Selecting new image will render this,  which illustrates what happens when those triangles are used in knit motif designs. Inevitably, there will be areas where corner pixels meet to join others and the choice will need to be made between using the original or the color-reversed version of the repeat. Designing for a maximum 200-pixel design, the number of available needles on Japanese knitting machines, and continuing with random selections, paste 25 times in each direction, ultimately saving one of the new images:
its color reversed version Deciding on the first, an isolated area can be cropped to be used in an accessory ie a 72-stitch scarf, retaining full triangles, using the full 200-pixel height. Wanting to retain a 96-row max height for use on the 930, what happens when repeats line up vertically?  the isolated 72X96 design The assumption is that any change in vertical simple repeats will line up forming new triangles at the intersections not visually interpreted as patterning errors, the above repeated 3 times in height to 72X288 Committing to a test swatch: the wool ply is 2/13, and the space dyed rayon 20/2 and thinner in appearance. The contrast is not high, to begin with, and since the sample is knit as DBJ, as a result of the difference in yarn thickness the dark color bleeds through behind the lighter, reducing that contrast even further.
The places where the single pixels at the individual shape corners meet other shapes in the repeat can still be easily located.
The sample repeat size is 68X96 pixels, designed to include 2-stitch vertical borders drawn with dark pixels, the knit carriage was set to KCII, which allows the formation of distinct single color edges  Another alternative: beginning with a 9X9 repeat, drawn in repeat to 225X225, shapes do not touch in this rendering,  but do if color-inverted.  Isolating a repeat from the “floating” triangles, 45X81 tiled X3 to 45X243 may look ok but aside from the issue of choosing visually floating shapes vs still touching ones,  the big problem to be considered is the fact that for the machine KRC color separation to happen correctly, the repeat downloaded must be an even number of rows. A workaround may be to double the original height to 162 rows prior to programming it since one cannot use double height and KRC buttons at the same time in many machine models. Pursuing personal preferences can be endless. I am increasingly fond of the repeat that began with the 8X8 square.

Truchet tiling design inspiration 1

For many years my knitting of accessories and wearable pieces was my source of income, guided by what pricing the local market would bear, the limitations of mylar sheets or that of an early Passap interface to program repeats, and the amount of time required to complete each piece.
There is practicality and ease in playing with colors using small motifs single-bed, and varying materials and yarn plies allowed me to aim for limited edition designs without looking at identical finished products more than once or occasionally a few times.
At first, Ayab and then img2track changed the playing field in terms of downloading and programming designs.
Eventually, my knitting moved from production pieces for sale to creating samples for my blog almost exclusively.
I have had a long and continued interest in math-based designs, and knit a line of accessories using automata-inspired repeats, often limiting the repeats in size to ones that would align vertically without having to program multiple DBJ segments, reducing the possibility of programming errors in scarves that would often require around 1200 knit rows in length.
A 930 followed the 910, this, knit in July 2021, was my first try at using img2track to download multiple tracks. There are many ways to yield math-based patterns, and nowadays online generators and reference sites abound, making it possible for nongeeks to use the resulting files to create knit suitable designs.
Some recent Truchet tile images shared on Instagram brought me back to exploring math-based images and what by default needs to be executed as larger-scale design motifs in knitting.
Sebastian Truchet was a Carmelite priest whose “Memoir sur les Combinasions” was published in 1704. It is a wealth of patterns built up from a simple motif, which you can see here
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3486m.image.f526.langFR and in which he discussed squares, half black, half white, split into triangles, with four possible orientations for each tile. He was also the inventor of the point system for indicating the sizes of typeface fonts.
His method of tiling by the combination of manipulating four-letter codes, A, B, C, and D, in rotations using triangular shapes inspired new variations in tilings.
Cyril Stanley Smith introduced two alternatives to the basic Truchet tile in 1987. One uses only diagonal lines to create maze-like designs where the coloring is removed and only the boundaries remain. The other, resulting in the designs produced in this post, uses quarter circles that may be filled or used as outlines and rotated to form the final shapes.  Distinctions in naming the tiles are not often made. “Truchet” is the commonly used generic term.
Some articles on the tilings:
Generalizations of truchet tiles, Multiscale Truchet PatternsThe Tiling Patterns of Sebastien Truchet and the Topology of Structural Hierarchy, and More on tiles, fun with portraits.
Basic elements include contrasting triangles,  quarter circles, and diagonal lines.
One may find code for programming DIY in various GitHub links. Python is far beyond my interest or skill, there are many ways to achieve the designs.
Spreadsheets are also programmable, but require the development of formulas.

Developing patterns from online sources, beginning with the Smith variation using quarter circles: the Wolfram site is a computing and math one well worth exploring, the files there are Computable Document Files, a document standard developed by Wolfram Research. They can be saved and opened using the Wolfram CDF Player, which is a standalone application and a Web browser plug-in provided for free.
To preview search results in a browser: https://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TruchetTiles/.
Ad blockers may interfere with proper previews in Safari but appears to not be an issue using Chrome as the browser.
Files cannot be saved from the preview results other than as screengrabs.
What is cdf  
For permanent access to preferred CDFs:
CDF Wolfram player download is available for Mac and Windows, you will be asked to provide an email address.
After the player is installed and opened, click on the central option, and search for your area of interest.  Any demonstration may be saved for future use, most are customizable to varying degrees.
In my first effort, I used colors and left the black outlines. The second, simpler method of editing follows below it.  The swatch png, 58X150, includes 2 stitch vertical borders in the dark color. The machine was set to the built-in KRC color separation for DBJ. Some of the circular shapes have been already edited, but if I were to reuse the repeat, I would clean up more of the design shape edges
160 design rows were knit, measuring 7.5 inches by 20.5.
The dark color is a chenille from an unmarked cone with uncertain yardage. The space-dyed is an 8/2 rayon slub.
Tension was set at 5/5, the knit carriage on KCI, and the ribber using lili buttons for birdseye backing. KCII may be used as well if preferred, the side vertical edges will have a slightly different appearance. Developing an added repeat:
the working file in the cdf is a default 600 by 600 pixels. If the goal is to save a black-and-white downloadable png, the present plan is to fill in portions of the design with black while leaving others in white.
Checking tiling insures continuous designs at any point in the process.
It is possible to directly scale size in the cdf, but the shape outlines become broken in the automatic % reduction, so the filling-in process I suggest fails to be contained. In this exercise, none of the other available parameters were changed. When the player is launched, click on the tile, it will be surrounded by an orange line,  copy the image, and it can then be pasted directly into Gimp.  Change the Image Mode to BW Indexed before proceeding further.
Using the fuzzy select tool click on any area in the design, it will be surrounded by dotted lines select bucket fill, to fill the selected area with black.
Edit, undo will revert to the previous steps in sequence at any point.
If satisfied, select the rectangle tool.
Clicking on the selected area will allow its use for copying and pasting the outlined segment on a new canvas or cropping the area to the selection for saving while clicking anywhere in the Gimp work window fixes the results. The dotted lines disappear. Repeat the process on the remaining image.  The processed file will measure 600X600 pixels.
Anyone working with large-scale images and reducing file size to make them available for knitting as single panels on a standard machine is familiar with the loss of detail and the need for cleanup of edges as incremental decreases in file size are attempted.
Magnifying any of these will help evaluate forms and scaling decisions for final repeats to be used in knit test swatches.
Downloading or copying and pasting them from here for personal use may change the image mode to RGB in the process, check mode and convert them to indexed BW if needed before any further use.
300X300200X200 pixels  150X150 pixels  The proof of concept was knit using the 100X200 repeat without any pixel cleanup.  The blue yarn is a 2/20 wool, and the white is a 2/28 Italian yarn of unspecified fiber content from my stash. Both beds were set at 2/2. The KRC setting separated the colors so each color in each row knits only once, but it takes 2 passes to complete one row, so 100 design rows translate to 200 rows of knitting. In this instance, img2track used on the 930 broke up the design into 2 tracks, a 66-row first track, followed by a 134-row one.
Each track needed to be programmed sequentially.
The ribber was set for birdseye backing, which in this case results in an interesting shadowing of the pattern Comparing the two swatches: Variations in tiles made by changing variable view options will still align when combined, easily producing a range of new designs at merging points. Use guides to help narrow down segments of interest, here they are placed at even 100-pixel intervals on two adjoining 600-pixel images. To remove a single guide after placing it, go to Edit, Undo Add the Horizontal or Vertical Guide. To remove all guides, go to View, and uncheck Show Guides.
And for those not averse to developing any larger motifs from scratch, the limitations of any geometric shape, when reduced to low-resolution knitting, mean the search must begin for what one determines to be a pleasing circular form.     My original circle was placed on a 40X40 grid with outlines every 10 cells, the central circular 20X20 repeat was isolated and split into quarters, in turn generating these 2 tiles out of the 8 total required, also 20X20, with the second the color-reversed image of the first. A similar approach can be used in color to visualize the initial 8 tile repeats and their rotations in order to form new shapes. This technique may be useful in planning floor tile patterns but is cumbersome for developing knit designs. Facilitating and speeding up the process: in my post on using ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design, I briefly touched on the Drawing-in-repeat feature in Arah to produce random tiling.

Thanks to the developer there now is a video, viewable on Instagram and Facebook, on how to use the feature for this type of tile, which allows for very quick DIY versions that can be trimmed as needed for knitting. This is my very first try, a how-to will follow in the next post.   And the second, composed of triangular formsFor spreadsheet users, this one generates the various tiles in Google Sheets and a related article.

 

 

Another racking tale: Passap/Brother 5

I taught in a design school in a lab with Brother Punchcard models, four 910s, and 2 bulky machines. My previous experience had been using Passap and Studio electronics, and a crash course in Brother models followed my being hired.
My E 6000 was purchased from a sewing machine center at a time when the owner decided knitting was not for her.
The 560 Studio model was later upgraded with a change in their box in exchange for my publishing some patterns for the Studio Design Magazine but was sold years ago.
There were years the Passap was my production machine for garments and accessories knit double-bed. Single-bed knits for the same end use were easier to knit on Brother, with a clear view of stitch formations vs the issues with seeing the fabric or correcting errors when working with the ribber in place.
The immediacy of easy testing with img2track on the 930 results in nearly all of my recent blog swatches.
There are still days I admit I do love the E6. The console commands along with the lock setting and pusher options on the back bed make a range of fabrics possible that are far harder to achieve in Japanese model KMs.
Looking back, these are some of my previous shares including Passap mentions
Machine cross reference chart 3/18
Brother/Passap: traveling between brands  11/18

Pile knitting on Passap/ Brother KMs 4 1/20
A racking tale: Passap/Brother 3  9/19
Translating Passap model book pattern/use on Brother 1 8/19
Fisherman_ English tuck stitch rib 1_ checks patterns_ Brother, Passap 10/18
Tubular machine knit fabrics: fair isle, Brother/Passap 11/17
Pile knitting on Passap and Brother KMs 2  7/15
Pile knitting on Passap, Brother, and Studio KMs 1 7/15
Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Passap KM 10/13
Back to leaf lace, add rib, and take it to the Passap 3/12
Japanese punchcard motifs used in Passap E 6000 machines  4/11
FB shares have led me down rabbit holes I may not otherwise have entered.
In the machine knitting group, someone recently shared a series of scarves knit using the E6, providing the Duo80 diagram and the E6 technique number.  The setup is for a 2/2 rib, reverses the pusher positions, but produces the same knitDuo 80 symbols AX = Tuck, setting is the same in both the Duo and the Passap back locks
AX  serves the same function in the Duo, and is replaced by KX on the E6 front lock
The arrow keys on the back lock work the same on both machines.
Passap preselects and works on pushers initially placed in work or rest on both beds, whether manually or by console selections in the E6.
Brother preselects needles in the planned pattern on the knit bed subject to punched holes or programmed pixels, but not on the ribber, other when using lili buttons, and that comes with rules and the sole automatic repeat ie the that the number of needles in use on the ribber must be even. On the Passaps there are no such rules on the back bed.
With no arrow keys selected the same action is repeated until the lock setting is changed, so in the above, the change is made by manually setting the back lock to N for 2 rows, then back to AX for tuck on both Passap models.
The front bed in the Duo also has a fixed pattern selection, requiring the lock change to N there as well. The E6 built-in pattern selects the all-knit rows, so its lock remains in the KX setting.
The initial pusher setup is manual on both models but not location-dependent in this particular design.
The E 6 console will select the proper pattern based on the pushers in the work position. A look at pusher positions from the E6 manual. Each machine brand has its own specific vocabulary for parts and techniques. Things get a little more complicated on Brother, it is helpful to have an understanding of stitch formation on both beds before tackling more complex knits.
In Brother the needle placement on the main bed matters as it does in tuck lace, so it needs to be verified before any knitting. “Air knitting” is one easy way to do that. Rows 5 or 6 would provide the necessary preselection.
In any punchcard model or Japanese electronic machine, the knitter is usually in charge of keeping track of racking. The E6 provides console prompts for racking positions in this design, facilitating the process.
An attempt to visualize what actions need to happen on the Brother models: the needle setup will match the Duo or the rotated E6 version Considering the required patterning for each bed, empty columns in my charts represent needles that need to be pushed back to A and left out of work on both beds. Textured ladder spaces will not be formed on either bed as is seen when using similar repeats on the single bed. Adding the ribber position and configuration  The top bed can be programmed, this 24-stitch version is suitable for use in punchcard machines. The main bed will knit all needles programmed with punched holes or black pixels and will tuck unpunched squares or white pixels.
The ribber requires setting changes after the initial four and after the last 2 rows of each 6-row repeat.
In addition, there are racking changes after each repeating segment.
In this setup, there will be a knit stitch beside each tuck one up to the all knit rows, helping to anchor the tuck loops. Ribber carriage settings are noted.  Anytime there are needles out of work, cancel the end needle selection. Depending on the machine model being used the repeat may need to be mirrored horizontally to match my in-process photos, true in my 930.
Using design row 5 or 6, air knit a row to find needles that need to be in work on the knit bed. Push non-selected needles out of work, and back to the A position. After doing so, reset the pattern to design row one.
The setting for the racking indicator does not specifically matter. It is often best to consider this before casting on. Here racking is only by one position, avoid 1 or 10. Starting at 5 centers stitches in relationship to each other stitches. As knitting progresses, where the ribber needle positions become obvious and less reliant on checking numbers. Cast on bringing appropriate needles into work on the ribber.
The original needle setup.  Use any favorite cast-on method.
Starting side does not matter unless one is planning on using a color changer, in which case the first preselection row needs to happen from right to left.
Since needles will be manually pushed up to the hold position, make certain that the ribber carriage is not set to hold. In a test swatch, knit several all-knit rows before beginning the pattern. If planning a piece, start with waste yarn and ravel cord prior to casting on with “garment” yarn.
A tool that aids in selecting every third needle is extremely helpful The initial carriage setups used for rows 1-4 The placement of the first needle on the ribber with respect to that of the first on the main bed The first needle in each pair of rows on the ribber needs to be brought up to the E position in every row for the first 4 rows of the 6-row repeat, I began with the first ribber needle on the left. The needles brought up to E will knit, and help anchor down the knit bed tuck stitch on their left, and the needles on their right will tuck. In turn, the main bed selected needles will anchor loops formed on the ribber, the nonselected will tuck.
The appearance after the tuck loops have all been formed and the needles holding them up to that point are preselected forward just prior to the 2 all knit rows. The knit carriage is left on tuck in both directions, while the ribber is set to knit for 2 rows. It is not necessary to change the P lever to R, with the other buttons set to N, knit is king.  Time to rack so that the first needle on the ribber will now be to the left of the first on the main bed. Push down lightly on the first 2 ribber needles on the left before racking in case those first stitches are a bit snug, to avoid starting needles crashing into each other as you move needle positions.  Knit 2 rows.
Rack again to the initial position,  change ribber settings again, and repeat the process as described. The proof of concept: the error shows what happens when one misses changing the ribber settings back to tuck.  If that is not challenging enough, add a color change, knitting the first 4 rows using color one, and the 2 all-knit rows with color 2.  I used to tell my students to develop a sort of tune that could be sung (mentally) as a reminder of the steps in complex fabrics ie bring up 1, 2, 3, 4, rack, change color, change settings, knit 2, rack, change color, change settings, bring up, etc. but my advice if you really want to knit this fabric in a full piece is to borrow and E6 or pay someone else to knit it for you 😉

Pintucks 2, ripples in knits using the ribber

This content, on a topic I intended to expand on further, had been “tucked” away as a draft last March.
Ripples in knits are created by knitting an unbalanced fabric, with one of the beds knitting more rows than the opposite bed.
Depending on the design, the fabrics may share similarities with blistered stitches DBJ.
Pintucks vs shadow pleats introduces fair isle patterning possibilities on the top bed.
Pintucks are created by knitting on one bed and slipping on the other for often as many as 6-10 rows followed by plain knitting on both beds to seal the fabric together.
Nopps are made in a similar fashion, but using the tuck setting and for fewer rows. Before moving on to exploring added textures, this shares a few of the many options.
Both fabrics may be knit with or without added automatic patterning.
Pintucks tend to be firmer and with less stretch than fabrics using tuck settings.
Some published sources for single-color versions, though intersections could be isolated and horizontal colored stripes continuing on both beds may be introduced:
fromStudio punchcard volumes included samples, calling the fabric punch pin tuck

Brother introduced the idea in their Ribber Techniques Book: My experience in knitting these fabrics has been using Brother and Passap. In my blog posts, I discuss fabrics and settings I am able to test and reproduce, so specific ones for other machine brands are not usually included for specific techniques.
In creating DIY textures, an extra needle is generally used on the bed used to knit the sealing rows.
Nonautomated patterning may be created by leaving needles out of work on either bed. Adding racking changes the fabric even further.
If automatic patterning is used along with tuck or slip settings, the end needle selection on the patterning bed is canceled or the needles on either side of the ones out of work will knit the stitches rather than tucking or slipping them.
Many decisions are made in the process, beginning with a simple variation, A, followed by B with a small number of needles out of work on the top bed,
which will create ladders between knit spaces as would happen in any single-bed knitting.
Switching to needles out of work on the ribber renders the main bed knitting with blocks of pattern and no floats, C.
The remaining pintucks are created with 6 rows of knitting on the top bed. C: racking sequence is by one position in either direction, followed by another pintuck with no racking before every sealing row
D: racking is by one position in each direction, before every sealing row
E: racking by one position X4 before each sealing row, then reversing the sequence in the opposite direction. The effect on the knit side is subtle. Additional swatch photos in each post
Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles 
racking   Adding lots of texture:  Combining knit carriage needle selection with racking and needles out of work. The surface here is more dramatic, it is best to use yarns with memory such as wool, and to have a memo provided by the machine if possible or some other way to help track the racking sequence without errors in long projects.   Racking by more positions as well as more knit rows on the top bed. Racking: Passap/Brother 3 Combining  knit carriage needle selection with rackingAdding complexity with transfers from one bed to the other to racking A Passap special begins with deciding on which bed to produce patterning, at first with manual selection on the back bed, then with a programmed repeat on the front bed, no racking At the top of the swatch, to secure stitches, a strip of woven interfacing was ironed on, and a zig-zag stitch was added with a sewing machine before further trimming.

ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 3

Previously published:
ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 2
ArahPaint meets Gimp in knit design 1

Subsequent posts on using Gimp Layers to process images:
Using Layers in Gimp for color separations
Layer/Transparency/Color to Alpha Gimp Update for Mac 3_more on color separations

Gimp allows one to work on multiple images with only a single window open, left mouse clicking on any one of the images will bring it into view for editing. In the dark theme, it is hard to see the difference, but a lighter border actually surrounds the active image distinguishing it from the others, outlined here in yellow In Arah, multiple windows may be opened at any one time, and left-clicking on any one of them will bring it to the front for editing.   When working using the same file in more than one window, the degree of magnification needs to match in each.
Spreadsheets and paint programs may be used to achieve color separations for designs intended for specialty fabrics, many worked on the double bed.
Two places to begin exploring them here are for knitting single-bed mosaics and double-bed jacquard in its form where each color in each design row knits twice.
It is unlikely to happen often in knitting that more than 6 colors are used in any one fabric except perhaps in an elaborate color-changing fair isle.
The palette that appears in Arah when opening a new file is random, as seen here when two new files of the same size are loaded  If one’s preference is to reduce the number of colors, the specific number may be set by choosing from the colors menu, editing the number identified as that for the working palette, changing it to the new value, in this case, 6, and the palette reduction occurs as seen in A. For most knit repeats a black color is handy, any one of the 6 colors or more may be adjusted as described in the previous post, seen in B, where black has been added, replacing the color in position 1. More Gimp information: https://docs.gimp.org/2.10/en/gimp-palette-dialog.html
Some of the related content in brief: the former versions of GIMP had a “Save palette” command. Palettes were stored in a specific folder via the preferences pane. Easy to do and manage. It no longer exists.
To save the palette of an image, indexed or not, you must now import it from the image.
The “Palettes” dialog is dockable: from the Image menu, select Window, Dockable Dialogues, Palettes.
A few dozen more or less randomly chosen palettes are supplied with GIMP.“Import Palette” allows you to create a new palette from the colors in a gradient, image, or palette file.
Right-click in the space to the right of the illustrated palettes to call up the import option, or for palette editing. It is not necessary to index the image, this image was used in RGB mode. A palette name can be assigned, and if previously used, a number will be appended by the program.
The number of colors: the default is 256, you can set the number to any you choose. Gimp will try to create a palette by spacing the number of colors evenly across the range of the gradient or image. Each screengrab in the top row shows the initial selections for gradient or image, and the second row of screengrabs notes other changes made when choices were available and the results. White dots mark selections as seen while using the program.   Using the same image, indexed to 5 colors, the custom palette is rendered in a one-step process. The gradient seen in the first position on the top left was randomly assigned by the program and does not influence the results. The Columns selection number settings only influence the way the palette is displayed and have no effect on the way the palette is used. The lower the number, the larger the display size of each color unit.
Double-clicking on any palette color will magnify the palette view on the theme color background. Left-clicking on any color makes it available for drawing, the selection will have a dotted bounding line and the selected color will be assigned to the foreground position,  Right-clicking on a color results in these options.  The imported palette will be added to the Palettes dialog and is automatically saved in your personal palettes folder when you quit GIMP so that it will be available in future sessions.
In Arah, the color palette will always display the colors of the active layer. The working image contains colors intended for use in my designs.  In addition, please see the note from the developer in the comment at the end of the post.  The palette tools: A: if you press this icon the program will underline the colors actually used in the image, since all colors are used in this case, each color is underlined in either white or black in this instance  D: adds color(s) to the palette  B: removes unused colors in the above palette, it would restore the original colors
C: removes duplicate colors, not applicable in this instance
E: removes the last unused color, will not work if all colors are used.
Changing color positions in the palette: to switch the position of two colors in the palette, click the chosen color in the palette, move the cursor to the color you want to switch the position with, and press the left mouse button while holding the Ctrl key on the keyboard. In this instance, the color was duplicated in the new position.  Knitters designing for dbj are likely to work with a limited range of colors, often 3 or 4 max, in specific palette ranges to ready images for download.
If color separations for 3 or more colors are done in shades of grey in terms of technical details, you need a pattern image that is 8-bit greyscale, with each color in a range of the 8bit values. So for 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color 1; 64-127 color 2; 128-195 color 3; 196-255 color 4.
Binary images have only 2 possible intensity values, normally displayed as black and white with values of either 1 or 255 for white, and often 0 for black.
That convention may have led to the selection of white as color 1 in automatic separations such as the KRC Japanese one, where white is selected first. In a greyscale or color image, a pixel can take on any value between 0 and 255. Designing for fair isle, or when attempting to visualize and illustrate slip and tuck fabrics with frequent color changes, more colors may be required even though the final download will be in black and white. There is a quick way to add random colors assigned by the program and based on the initial palette: The magic wand tool allows you to work on consistently colored areas without having to select and outline each.
To alter a single color using the bucket tool, click on the wand, then on the color single color area you wish to change, it will become outlined by bounding lines.
Click on one of the colors in the expanded palette, and it will automatically appear in the foreground color position, and it may then be used to bucket fill the chosen area. Flatten the image using the merge down tool.
If the foreground color, in this case, white/0, needs to be changed, in order 
to choose all pixels in the foreground color, click on the wand, and use Tools > Select by color or Shift+W. This function works only on 8-bits per pixel images. Click on the color you wish to use to replace the ground, and bucket fill with the newly selected color. Flatten the image using the merge down tool.
Changing multiple color blocks in the same color could be selected by the tool, but filling each of them one at a time was required.  In Gimp a similar tool is the fuzzy select, which also allows for changing the color in a selected area or for selecting and changing all pixels in that color. Selected areas will also be outlined in dashed bounding lines. Bucket fill may then be used to replace color(s). The option is offered to choose either foreground or background for the fill.  Click on the rectangle select tool and then on any spot in the work area or on the image to set the image. The dashed lines will disappear.
In terms of saving the palette in Arah for future use, I saw no specific directions in the manual.
The color palette displayed is always the one used in the active layer. As a workaround: open the image, and the associated palette will be displayed. The repeat begins drawn 24 pixels in width, by 24 in height.
Select clear from the edit menu, or bucket fill area with white
If the size of your intended drawing area is different, choose the option Resize Image from the Image menu. With the chain link intact, the new canvases are created keeping the aspect ratio. Enter a new value for width/height, hit return, or move the cursor to the alternate value, and its number will automatically change to a matching one. Click OK to use the new canvas, or reset if you wish to return to the original 24 by 24 pixel one for a different edit.
With a broken chain link as one of the two values is altered, a preview is available. If both values are to be changed, break the chain link, enter the two values in turn, and a preview appears for each step. Ok is used again prior to saving, or choose reset to return to the previously used setting. Color separations can make specialty fabrics possible to knit which are outside the possibility of doing so simply by changing cam settings. Two instances are mosaics and DBJ where each color in each design row knits twice. Separating each may be done in two ways. The first method, convenient for longer repeats, requires that the result be elongated X 2, whether in the repeat design software or after download to the machine or using the elongation X2 function in the punchcard models. For illustration purposes here I will be working to create files that do not require elongation.
Mosaics and Mazes are constructed in similar ways and are sometimes referred to as floatless fair-isle even though technically speaking usually 2 stitch floats do appear on the purl side in the alternate color used with each color change.
Many such repeats may be knit using both the slip and tuck settings, the latter is the more interesting of the two on the purl side.
When learning structures it may be worth beginning with a published design.
Kathleen Kinder decades ago published two books, one with 24 stitch repeats, the other with 40 stitch repeats, with the separations included as well This, by Barbra Walker and intended for hand knitting, offers a huge library of designs for inspiration and conversion Following specific rules it is also possible to develop DIY repeats from scratch. That said, the repeat used in this blog post happens to have a known value of 12 pixels by 12Magnification in Gimp is achieved by selecting or typing in new percentages at the bottom of the window.
Entering and exiting the full screen may be controlled via the view menu To exit, it right-click at the very top of the window to expose menu options and select deselect full screen.  In Arah, if you press any number from 0-9 on the keyboard, you will change the zoom directly to that level (1 means 100%, 6 means 600%, 0 means 1000%). The plus + and minus keys- as well as the magnifying lens icons, will zoom in and out To use the entire space available in the window, choose Fit to Window from the view menu or select Ctrl+zero.
If working in more than one window this option makes repeats the most visible, scaling back can be done by counting the number of selections, helping to match the new picture magnification to the first.
Press the escape key on the keyboard to return to the original 100% view.
To work using the full screen, select the option from the view menu. To exit, right-click at the very top of the window to expose menu options, and select exit full screen Separating the design: ultimately the planned final graphic repeat would be a BW png used for electronic download, programmed as a fair isle one, but knit using tuck or slip settings, it may be drawn initially using only in those 2 colors. Black may need to be added to the palette selections.
One may always draw on a large canvas and then crop as needed, but as a starting point, it may be easier to simply match canvas size to the published repeat being used.
It is handy to have an extra column to help track image processing during the separation, the repeat above is identified as being composed of 12X12 pixels, one could begin with a 13X12 canvas.
A second way to provide the 13th column is to work using 2 windows, matching magnification,  and the second with a different, larger pixel measurement than the first. Copy the contents of the original work area and paste them into the larger canvas in the other window. Crop to new size if necessary.
To illustrate the two-window process, here the original BW repeat has already been drawn and elongated X2
A. Use the rectangle-select tool to capture the whole image in the first window, bounding lines in the colors of the palette in use will outline the selected area
B. Use the edit menu or command C to copy the selection, edit paste, or command V in the new window to place it.
When pasting on a different size ground, the bounding lines will also appear in the new image, the contents remain moveable,
C. Place the selection where desired on the new canvas,  when satisfied use the X, merge down tool to flatten it.
The quicker method begins with a canvas one pixel wider than the repeat, 13X12.
Adjust magnification, for comfortable viewing in the editing process.
View: show grid 2
Colors: set the number of colors to 6, and adjust the #1 color to black, white is in position 0 in the palette by default
Activate the pencil tool, and draw a vertical line on the far right in an easy-to-see color choice other than white or black
Using black, fill in pixels for your first draft of the pattern repeat
Image multiply YX2, resulting in 13X24
Using the pencil tool fill in the first 2 design rows followed by every other pair with white. Magnify image A to a comfortable work viewing size.
B and C: using the rectangle select tool, with the left mouse button, place the pointer on the purple pixel, drag the mouse across each pair of marked rows, release the mouse, and use Command I to color invert, and merge down to eliminate the bounding box.
The purple pixels will change color as well, making it easier to track what rows have been altered already.
D: crop the image, removing the row with colored cells for the final repeat
If for some reason you are processing an image that is color reversed, the steps are identical, but tuck or slip stitch fabrics, black pixels or punched holes knit, white pixels or unpunched squares tuck or slip. For this reason, the cropped final result would need to be color inverted prior to knitting or punching holes. This separation for 2-color DBJ results in its potential use in many fabrics other than DBJ and may be performed by some programs used to download multiple color patterns to the machines prior to knitting the fabric. One such fabric is drop-stitch lace.
Punchcard machine users would need to separate the colors manually, or if Dak is available, the separation may be done using the program and a corresponding template may be printed as a guide to punching holes.
This method is the automatic default one for any 2-color DBJ knit on the Passap.
Each color in each design row will be knit with each pair of consecutive color passes. Completing one design row containing 3 colors will require 6 carriage passes, 4 colors 8, and so on.
The built-in color separation in electronic machines wherein each of only 2 colors in each design row knits only once does not apply when using more than two colors,  though it is possible using Dak or by downloading a special card reader technique to program separately from the design when using the Passap E6000 in addition to the pattern repeat.
This separation of a 2 color pattern results in an elongated version of the design regardless of any dbj backing used.
Begin with a 2 color image,  an extra column of pixels is added here as well:
A: multiply YX4 to 13X48
B: mark alternating pairs of rows in the extra column with a contrasting color
C: following the color cues on the far right column, on rows with no added color use the pencil tool to replace black pixels with white, leaving only the orange cells
D: on rows marked with the third color replace the orange pixels with white, leaving only the black pixels
E: crop the image eliminating the extra column
adjust the remaining orange color to black
index the result to B/W, and the image is ready to save and use The difference between single repeats for each type of fabric, no further elongation is required. A: mosaic, B: DBJUsing layers in Gimp opens up the possibility of several color separations for fabrics using only 2 colors.

Both img2track and Ayab are capable of opening 2 color images.
In img2track this is what would appear, after the download the KRC function needs to be activated in the knitting machine.  Ayab: the repeat should be programmed in width equal to the number of needles planned to be in use. The color change happens as the file is loaded into the program, the ribber classic option is used to render results that would match the KRC knitting machine selection after an img2track download. Here the repeat is also tiled in height.  My personal preference is to work with images designed in black and white. With the 910 presently stored, my blog swatches are knit on a 930 using img2track.

A note for Mac users like myself using desktops with the M1 chip and Mac OS Monterey. Img2 track requires an FTDI driver for its download cable, on June 6 finally released a beta version of a more recent driver, I do not plan to install it at this moment, function in the upcoming Ventura OS would be unknown.   Ayab does not launch automatically. These are the steps necessary to run the program, following suggestions by Adrienne Hunter via the Ayab FB group:
open a Terminal window (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type these two lines:
cd /Applications/AYAB.app
./Contents/MacOS/AYAB
The app may also be found and then opened via using Spotlight search if you prefer  Once the program is quit unless you choose to keep the terminal icon
in your dock, it will disappear and the above process will need to be repeated. Once the text has been entered, and Ayab has been launched, a message similar to this will appear, showing your last log in. To launch Ayab again, simply use the up arrow key and hit return to repeat the command  Creating an AYAB desktop shortcut for Mac that will work without opening the terminal each time
Using Finder, open Applications and find AYAB. Right-click on AYAB and select “Show Package Contents”.

Locate “AYAB” under MacOS. While holding down the command and option buttons, click and drag that icon to the desktop. This will create an ayab shortcut that does the terminal stuff for you you can change the icon by copying and pasting the icon image in “get info” but it works fine without it. These icons will appear in your dock after double clicking on the icon   The ayab window opens with only the load image option highlighted Click on the load image file to open an image, and the remaining features of the program will now be available If you quit ayab, the terminal window remains active Quitting terminal called up this window for me only the first time I did so.

A ladder back dbj quest

The previous discussion on this topic: Ladderback double jacquard: backing variations
This backing technique has traditionally been used when the yarns are simply too thick to be worked in traditional dbj backing methods.
The majority of the needles will be knit on the main bed, so the tension should approximate that used for the same yarn worked in stocking stitch single bed.
The pattern will become a slip stitch one, with colors changed every two rows.
A FB Machine Knitting Group share led to a query on how this block type of ladder back might be duplicated on home knitting machines. My interpretation of the knit: the planned block repeat, in turn, needs to be color separated and scaled for use in dbj.
This chart was developed using Numbers:
A: each color in each row is represented only once
B: the same repeat in black and white
C: the repeat double length so that each color is changed every 2 rows
D: getting the pattern to shift for every other pair of blocks is actually achieved by knitting the last 2 rows and the first two rows of the next repeat using the same color for 4 consecutive rows.
If the repeat is downloaded and programmed to be 24 rows long, the reminder to knit with the same color again is easy, since the pattern will roll back to row 1 with a warning, in this case, not to change color. It is easy enough to alter the height of the repeat to use this particular reminder. The motif used in the swatches is 14 stitches wide by 24 stitches high  The machine set up: the main bed needles will need to continue to have weight evenly distributed on them, so the ribber comb placement needs to reflect that. The cast-on method can be one you prefer. I began with waste yarn, the ribber comb poked evenly through that, with the added use of ribber weights.
The pitch setting is for every needle rib.
End needle selection is used as in fair isle knitting to ensure that end stitches will be knit when either color is knit only on the top bed, resulting in the B feeder yarn being secured on the edge. If the end needle selection fails for any reason on the carriage side, push the needle forward manually.
The needle arrangement with red lines marking the location on the opposite bed.COR: the first pass is made toward the color changer
COL: every other group of 7 needles is preselected, set both carriages to slip in both directions, change color if preferred, and bring up ribber needles in between those selected on the top bed to D position as shown here, on both the pass to the right and the return pass to the left.   As the carriages make the pair of passes, floats will be created across the alternate group of 7 needles. Those floats will become secured as the next group of needles is selected and ribber stitches are brought up to form a line of knit stitches in the contrasting color in front of them.   The yarn used here is 2/20 wool, really too thin for this type of backing, but I wanted to test the repeat and the concept.   Using a 2/8 wool the result was optically the best, but I could not get any further than this without stitches jumping off needles in several places, regardless of tension adjustments Using yarns in weight in between the 2, knitting was smooth, the tension on the top bed was set at tight as possible, this is the appearance of the knit on the machine  Off the machine, the bleed-through from the floats created on the top bed on the knit side begins to remind one of knit weaving as does the purl side. Not the intended effect and fabric, but perhaps worth pursuing intentionally. 

Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 4, stitch release, added racking

Though written in 2017, the post on revisiting drop/release stitch lace 1 has had new swatches and updated design ideas added. It includes information on how to use punchcards intended for other fabrics as possible design ideas and a cumulative list of previous posts on drop stitch lace.
The Brother publications have offered this idea for end release drop stitch in one of their volumes of punchcard patterns.  Many published designs recommend beginning the knitting with the racking handle in the center position, 5 of 1-10 positions in Brother, and 0 of 6, 3-3 in Passap. Often the starting position is relative and when a lot of racking is involved, they may be varied, though not the sequences in terms of the number of movements, to different starting points if that seems to offer an easier way to track position numbers. It is one of the many things that once the method is sorted may be adjusted to personal preference. Some of my swatches below were started with the racking position on 10, some with it on 5.
Many knitters in forums appear to have success with end release drop stitch. My experience has been that episodic release of the stitches even as often as after 2 rows knit yields far more predictable results. It is how I worked my shawls produced in the technique, including these two, knit in days when I did not always photograph all my pieces Giving end release another go, this was my initial needle set up. With the majority of the needles in work on the main bed, the larger stitches in the final fabric will dominate. The stitches after the cast on have been transferred down to the ribber. The work on the machine, with stitches on the main bed released at the end of the swatch. There is a long stitch DBJ single color pattern happening which may prove to be an interesting fabric if no stitches are dropped, to preserve it, all stitches would be transferred to the top bed, and bound off.
Here the racking took place in single positions after every knit row. Dropping stitches on completion of the swatch, particularly along the edges was so fiddly and such a nuisance I simply gave up in spots, some indicated by red dots.  This watch had stitches released at the end of each shape, racking in the top portion occurred after every 2 rows knit Here the same design was knit using different yarns. The first is knit using the same blue wool, the second a tightly spun rayon. So many fabrics can be automated, sometimes the fabric is a vague look-alike cousin of the original, close enough to be a reasonable compromise. Slip stitch patterning across the top bed can offer a quick solution to bypassing a lot of hand manipulation. Assuming that was possible for this fabric, my starting repeat, 10X30 pixels: and the plan would be to knit it in a 40 stitch swatch, placed in a way so that the “mock racking” would move equally from side to side. Working on a larger than needed canvas, the design can be placed on a magnified work area with a visible grid, at the chosen starting point. If the background is left as white in BW images, moving repeat spacing may erase black pixels as copy and paste in place are used. The solution is to make the background transparent using the Layer menu, as explained in other posts on using Gimp. To save the repeat as a BW bmp or png, remove the alpha channel The final repeat is 40 stitches wide, 34 high, with blank rows added to its top to serve as a place to drop stitches and have knitting happening on the ribber only.
Depending on the download program or the knitting machine model number, repeats are automatically mirrored, so if direction matters, mirroring of the repeat may need to be performed once more.
Why the repeat will not work for drop stitch: if the KC is set to slip in both directions, the function will happen on all needles in work on the top bed. On any given row, only black pixels (or punched holes) will knit. The slipped/ skipped stitches keep elongating until a black pixel replaces the white one in that needle location. The degree of elongation is illustrated in the chart in color for part of the repeat, the yellow marks the widest gap between knit stitches. If knit as is the repeat will soon cause serious knitting problems and carriage jams.  Though designing for one type of fabric may fail, this repeat or similar could be used successfully double bed in other ways, using hand transfers on the top bed or down to the ribber. In this case, I chose to transfer down to the ribber, which avoids concerns about restoring correct needle selection, and the repeat was not mirrored for use on my 930, so the resulting knit appears as drawn on the purl side, but is mirrored on the knit side.
The fabric is far removed from the drop stitch idea, but as for drop stitch lace, stitches after the cast on are transferred to the bottom bed.
Newly selected empty needles will create eyelets with the next 2 carriage passes, and texture will appear on both sides at the transfer down locations.
The shapes created do not travel on the knitting bed any longer.
End needle selection needs to be canceled at any time that slip stitch patterning is used and does not occur on every needle on the top bed.
If the pattern is to be interrupted by all knit rows here seen as rows with no preselection in the programmed repeat, then any needles with stitches on them need to be transferred down to the bottom bed before continuing to knit.
As preselection begins again, those needles should be filled by picking up from the stitches below them on the ribber, and then the process may be repeated.

Pintucks 1 vs shadow pleats


Pintucks are in the family of ripple stitches. The size of both is limited by the number of rows that may be knitted before the stitches on the bed creating the ripples begin to ride up and off the needles. The number of rows possible for the rolls varies with the model knitting machine used and the type of yarn. The Passap strippers make their knitting easier. Generally, extra weight is required.
Basic pintucks are formed across the width of the fabric, no punchcard selection is required. For some basic instructions on forming them in a single color see the blog post on Shadow pleats knitting. Its follow-up, Shadow pleats with added patterning made me curious about the possibility of creating 2 colors, FI patterned pintucks.
For a very brief period of time, some designs were published creating similar effects by hooking up elongated fair isle patterns at regular intervals on the knitting bed.  The preselection for the next row knit in Brother machines poses interesting issues in restoring and maintaining the proper pattern throughout the design.
A lot of changing cam button settings can make many fabrics almost possible but not practical on home knitting machines. Some of the constant switchings of functions may be achieved by knitting with separate pairs of carriages selecting the pattern, which in electronic models advances every row, making this an electronic “special”.
Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles introduced the idea of using a KC with a modified sinker plate to make some fabrics easier and includes a knit sample of patterned ripple fabric.
The goal here is to try to create rolls evocative of the shadow pleated swatches in a double knit.
Because of the rolling on the knit surface, designs should be lengthed at least X2. The initial test used the same pattern as that in the shadow pleated samples with the number 4, double-length key selected on the 930. The carriage setups The width of the fabric is limited. Though the KC on the right may be moved off the machine if needed, the coupled carriages cannot be since the ribber and KC used on the left do not lock together in any way, and with the stops removed the ribber carriage could conceivably slip completely off its bed. The end of the belt still needs to be cleared, but this is about as far as one can safely move, with the KC just clear of the set mark on the left of the top bed. End needle selection is used in both knit carriages.
Extension rails are required.
The coupled carriages although selecting needles will be knitting on both beds to begin and end the fabric and to seal the folds setting the pleats.
To begin, test the tolerance for the number of rows knit on the top bed only. It is possible to coax extra rows by pushing fabric down between the beds by inserting a thin knitting needle between the beds at the start of the pintuck or halfway through and weighing each end. Longer rolls and hems tend to flatten.
The main bed will be knitting on every needle and FI is essentially a slip stitch, so the tension needs to be at least that for the yarns used in single bed knitting. More pronounced rolls may be produced if the tension and stitch size are adjusted accordingly.
Normally the sealing row would be knit in the light FI color. In these samples, the yellow yarn is used to help assess how those knit rows interact with the folds and to what degree they are visible.
The first try:
1. tested a solid color 8-row pintuck a single time, then switched to 6-row sequences and continued. Even though a contrasting color is used to seal the tucks, it is not immediately visible
2. the second carriage is set to FI and begins to operate from the right. Out of habit, I knit with weaving brushed down, a bad idea in this instance
3-4. this fair isle design is used double-length and forms some very long floats repeatedly, not the best choice even for single bed FI, definitely problematic here, time to regroup.
Comparing the surface to the shadow pleat fabric For a different execution of the same design using a different main color on a different knitting day, see the bottom of the post.
Moving on to a simpler, random, smaller, 12X10 repeat planned for knitting on a 33 stitch swatch and rendered double-height planning six-row pintucks, Visualizing the possible design along with placement of sealing rows represented by all-white pixel rows in the diagram. The single 8-row fold advances the remaining pattern by 2 rows, resulting in a subtle change in the design: My swatch used white for the ground as in the above right, the 8-row transition is marked by the red arrow.  Knitting was easy and smooth, the 8-row tuck required a bit of coaxing. The fabric lies flat, does not have the drape of the single bed shadow pleats, it is not suitable for the same end-use.
Plain every needle rib knit is quite a bit wider, a consideration for casting on and binding off or transitioning to another fabric if this technique is used as part of a different fabric. This file was also downloaded and lengthened X2 The pattern is not very pronounced, but the short floats make for easy knitting. Comparing the fabric to the single bed shadow pleat using the same design The pintuck main bed FI yarn could be slightly thicker. Since the 6-row sequence appears to work well, if the fabric is to be pursued, the design could be planned and adjusted accordingly.
Issues encountered in DIY deliberate design planning: beginning in Numbers, a table is set up with enough rows to accommodate more than the height of the planned design. Since the fabric planned would knit 6 rows on the top bed, then followed by 2 rows on both beds not affecting the design, starting at the bottom of the table, use the command key and work on hiding 2 rows following groups of 6 for the height of the table  The theoretical design in beginning stages:
1: the rows marked in green are hidden
2. a design is drawn using 2-row blocks and shaping
3: it is tiled, appears worth pursuing.
The expected carriage actions, color reversing the repeat so that the dark color will knit in feeder A of the FI single bed sinker plate Points to consider while removing the use of the ribber from the equation:
both knit carriages are set for the end needles to select. When knitting fair isle this is necessary to keep the contrast color knitting from separating from the base color along the design edge. If at any point there are single-color stripes, the end needles if selected need to be pushed back to the B position, or the second color will catch the first and last needles in work, forming a float from side to side. If the yarn is removed from the B feeder and end needles are not pushed back to B, stitches on them will drop. My first try The transition to color reverse shown tiled Leaving the contrast color in the B feeder on the all knit black pixel rows created the first mess. Because of preselection, the return to knit dark rows has every needle coming forward as the single bed KC is traveling back to the right, resulting in another mess.
Regrouping so the first pair of rows with no preselection will knit the dark color, the second pair of rows with no preselection will knit using the paired carriages, sealing the fabric, the larger geometric shape has 2 rows with no needle selection nearly at its halfway point.  The broken threads are due to stitches getting hung up on gate pegs, missed until more knitting had been completed. With more attention, knitting went more smoothly, and the planned design is identifiable.    Perhaps as a farewell to the topic or out of sheer stubbornness now that the above had been knit and I have had some practice, I returned to the more straightforward knitting of that double-length flower pattern with far improved results. Some of the floats trapped behind the long stitches created on the ribber can be seen bleeding through on the right. Comparing the scale once again to the shadow pleats This fabric may fall in the category that need not be knit simply because one can. That said it may serve well in bands joined onto larger pieces, or any use for it may only be limited by patience and imagination.

 

Making a 2 color drop stitch “work”

I usually try to leave opinions out of my shares, but this post includes some along with “don’t do what I did” tips.
This was a pattern available for sale decades ago, sold directly to customers. At frequent intervals over time questions come up in forums as to possible DIY techniques and methods of design and execution to create the knit, or similar, followed by speculation.
The images from the ads online are small. Trying for a bit more detail, there is a see/peek-through quality. At first, I thought it might be a version of the stitch using 3 colors, but later, looking again, I came to believe it to be a 2 color drop stitch fabric with a dark constant motif color creating the donut-shaped designs with changes to three different colors in the background.
I am planning to execute the fabric as a modified end release, releasing stitches at intervals based on needle selection.
First flub: I was thinking of this as an addition to a prior post, and I got happy cleaning up and deleting stuff. Getting here I realized some of that stuff had to do with the original repeat used and the gimp layer images illustrating the steps used to obtain my repeat.
It is possible when that happens to reverse construct the images. That brought me back to this image, 20X16, drawn as less of a circle since the fabric technique will lengthen the design. It is scaled double length to 20X32 for processing in layersThough the image is far too small to help define the quality of the stripes between the circles, the goal here is to include areas of solid stripes in drop stitch in the alternating colors between the shapes. All white pixel rows will not create long stitches on the top bed, only all knit rows only on the ribber, not the intended fabric.  

The tiled repeat: I wanted to add solid color drop-stitch stripes, the solution being to add all black rows. Every needle will select every row in those areas, colors are changed every two rows, creating the desired effect when the corresponding stitches are dropped.
On any row where every needle is preselected, all needles can be pushed forward to E position dropping the whole row of stitches, and needles are pushed forward to E again after the release so that the second row of loops composing the stripe will be created on the top bed on the next pass to the opposite side.
My final png planned as a single motif test on the 930 is modified to 46 stitches by 72 rows. Imagining the 2 colorwork in repeat, estimating if the pattern and ground fall in the proper place A visual summary with an added color change column and row numbers with rows on which dropping all loops can occur marked with different color numbers. In this case, the ground is in the dark color, the shape in the lighter one. Determining whether the shape or the ground stripes knit the dark color is simply done by beginning the first all knit rows with the dark color or the light.
Getting to the knitting: the yarn I am using, knit at tension 4/5, is significantly thicker than that recommended in the ad for the pattern.
When every needle knits every stitch on either bed, adjustments need to be made in tensions used approaching that used for the yarn when knitting stocking stitch single bed. Brother ribbers also tend to knit tighter than the top bed.
When working every needle rib with sporadic needle selection on the top bed, it takes a bit of testing to find the ideal tension so that stitches are formed and knit off properly on either/both beds.
When lots of needles are being knit on the top bed, the carriages are likely to become harder to push.
A far thinner yarn would change the scale of the overall design even if using the same repeat.
The first swatch encountered aargh moments.
A: the color changer was frequently trying to share 2 colors at once. When I attempted to change the design color, the yarn got caught around a gate peg at the start of the row, and the knitting dropped to the floor.
B: testing reversing the colors. When the dark color was switched to red, C, the contrast and definition of the newly forming “circle” was not enough to my taste. Giving it another go, the theory worked, the details in the fabric underneath the swatch can be seen peeking through,  but I would like to have stripes in the solid lighter colors as opposed to 2, and more space between the shapes. A new, untested draft is now 50X76  but those rows for the solid colors need to be rendered again with black pixels. Here some of the peek-through quality of the fabric is shown again. When any fabric is gathered sideways, it is likely the repeat will appear narrower and longer. Using a 16/2 cotton at nearly the same tension produces a fabric that is even sheerer. And now those solid stripes in 2 rows knit are really bothering me, thinking they should be switched to only one row of loops, making the original repeat without those added black rows the better repeat? Only one of the two colors would pick up loops, with the second knitting 2 rows on the ribber only.  Aaargh! So what of this? Different day, yarns used before, same tensions, a very different result. The colors look different because the sun is finally out and this photo is taken in natural light as opposed to weird artificial lighting. The navy color is slightly thicker than the white, the single dropped row is not immediately visible. Stitches were dropped on any rows after all needles flatlined, and they were returned to B position prior to the next carriage pass.
Lo and behold the joyful experience of having yarn break when the stitches are pulled in order to drop them!  A potential use is for the thinner knit is for it to be used as a layer over a different pattern or the same design as seen here, in the thicker yarn I have never been a fan of this fabric, and for a while.
To my eye, all over geometrics rather than floating forms on solid ground are more attractive, one such sample: seeking a rounder, smaller donut shape: The red is a thicker yarn than the pale yellow, the fabric had an interesting slight curl evocative of shadow pleats. Other possible changes include the elimination of the top and bottom row in the original design. What seems a possible easy fix is not. The above repeat knit creates an elliptical shape rather than a circular one A more stable fabric with areas of stitches dropped for a single row in each of the alternating colors. How to for both are found in the post.
I need a break from long stitches for a while, though this is yodeling. Never say never.  It takes time and effort to develop any fabric to the point where it is considered a satisfactory one, let alone to write and publish accurate patterns using the technique. People who do both deserve to be paid for their time and effort, and are due respect, so no sharing if the pattern is copyrighted or is an original one available for sale presently online is proper.
That said, techniques or merely repeats are not subject to the same “restrictions” and certainly may be adapted for use in different, more personal, or new ways. If an item like a scarf is made using a particular needle arrangement and texture and someone else makes a dress using the same stitch type but shaping pieces, adding details, pattern instructions, the scarf maker, IMO, cannot really claim their work has been copied.
To my mind, credits when sharing anything if available are a matter of courtesy.

Another garment illustrated in the FB comments on the last search query for the Dowse pattern or similar fabric was created with FI shadow pleats. Shadow pleats rely on the contrast between thick and thin yarns to create folds. The double density in the traditional FI segments and the subsequent shift to using thinner yarn for the second color still have floats on the purl side of the knit and are unlikely to produce a sheer knit.

Multiple color drop stitch lace using img2track and more

WORK IN PROGRESS

There are many fabrics where samples may be knit using the proper color separation and released just prior to binding off. Samples and designs may be found in several of my previous posts.
End release is a possibility depending on how the repeat is programmed but does not always produce good results. As can happen in any fabric, what works in swatch size may not when knitting far larger pieces. Fuzzy yarn is problematic in many knitting techniques, it is best avoided in these fabrics. No matter the yarn, after knitting longer pieces, I have found sections that simply refuse to unravel. In addition, if long stitch shapes are distributed on knit striped grounds, the release needs to happen at a minimum when the top of each shape is reached. A sample with drop-stitch interrupted by all knit rows with only one color released. 500_986The repeats for designs may be self-separated to suit.
For more than 2 colors per row the built-in separation in img2track may be used, where any number of colors are selected for each design row and repeated twice. Passap separates for 2 colors with each pixel knitting twice on every row by default, but in Japanese machines, the pattern needs to be separated and programmed using other means.
The knitting method suggested here should work with more than 2 colors per row are separated by the software.
The post on Using Layers in Gimp for color separations illustrated a method for obtaining the necessary file to match those built-in variations when working in only two colors. The repeat is one that was separated and used in a previous post Here the file is separated quickly using Layer menus in Gimp alone Three variations of the final png files are shared The last appeared the most interesting visually to me when tiled This is the appearance when a different design was entered in img2track. The separated file 3 color file in BW is not shared. The method for knitting the pattern: the long stitches are formed by loops that are created on the top bed and dropped on the following row.
This is the method I used in my early dropped stitch samples: to begin with, cast on for every other needle rib, knit 2 circular rows followed by one-row all knit rib, transfer all main bed stitches to the ribber. For an open stitch cast on directions and photos see the post.
The pitch for every other needle Set up needles on both beds for every needle rib with an extra needle in work at each end on the main bed, cancel end needle selection (KC II). With the main bed needles in the B position, set the knit carriage to slip in both directions so as not to pick up loops across the whole row on its way to the left. Change the pitch for when working on every needle on both beds.  Make the first pass toward the color changer, needles will be preselected for the first pattern row
COL: the ribber remains set to knit every needle, the main bed to slip in both directions. A piece of tape in front of needle butts of needles in A position aside the edge of needles with stitches on them on each side helps keep from accidentally moving extra needles into work when dropping whole rows of stitches
COL: change color, as carriage moves to the right, selected needles will pick up loops on the main bed that will form the long stitches when dropped, while the next row of pattern is preselected, so by the time the carriage has reached the right side of the machine, the repeated needles selection is still present
COR: using any convenient tool (I use the edge of a piece of garter bar or ribber cast on comb), bring all needles in work out to E, and use the same tool to return all stitches back to B position. The loops formed on the main bed will be released forming the long stitches: check that all needles are indeed empty and that loops are free and between the beds
As the carriage moves to the left again toward the color changer, the ribber only will knit all stitches, needles on the main bed will be preselected for the next row of long stitches, selected needles do not knit until the next carriage pass from left to right.
COR: colors are changed every 2 rows
Ayab users have a different alternative for knitting this fabric as described in the post, using the circular ribber option. Instructions are given for dropping a single color or both. I cannot imagine manually dropping stitches after every row of loop formation on the top bed for any large piece in this manner. As time passed, I developed a hack for using a second knit carriage with a modified sinker plate.  Anyone with a compatible second knit carriage may use it with the resulting modification to knit a variety of fabrics much more easily, including any that would require the ribber settings changed in both directions, more convenient if the action is required every even number of rows.
Back to drop stitch in 2 colors (or more) using img2track, changing the base design to a small geometric shape. The 8 stitch repeat scaled X 4 in length as separated in the previous post to 8 stitches by 32 rows is used in the following samples.  Rather than relying on manipulating it in width or height and programming each repeat the changes in my swatches were made using variation key selections on my 930.
This type of fabric is best knit using a yarn with no memory, that will allow for retaining the blocked shape. The elongated stitches can have a peek-through quality that will allow for solid knit in a different color, an undergarment, or even bare skin to show through.
Working with a small geometric design to start with helps to develop a sense of the change in its aspect ratio as the original is scaled and knit in different widths and lengths.
Use any separation that allows for knitting each color pixel in each design row twice.
Begin with carriages on the right / COR
After EON cast on and knitting the first full row from left to right, transfer the top bed stitches to the ribber. Place needles in work on the top bed in the B position with first and last outside those in work on the opposite bed. This will allow for edge stitches to be dropped in pattern as well. With the transition planned to every needle rib, the pitch needs to be adjusted accordingly The second carriage, C2 is set to KCII as well. It will be advancing the design with each pass as well and will drop loops on the first pass, preselect for the subsequent pattern row on the next
COR: using the paired carriages set the knit carriage to slip in both directions so as to avoid picking up loops on every needle in work on the top bed, the first row is knit on the ribber only toward the color changer.
Download the repeat.
Program it for the width of the needle bed.
Cancel end needle selection on the top bed, KCII
The separation is technically entered as a fair isle design, variation keys for altering the repeat in the individual machine brand ie double width or double height may still be used.
While moving to the left the first pattern row is preselected.
COL: When the left is reached, change color, the top bed remains set to slip in both directions, the ribber to knit in both throughout.
Before moving to the right for a single time push selected needles back to B so as not to pick up loops on the way back to the opposite side. The second pattern row is preselected during the move to the right, the ribber knits every stitch
COR: knit to left on creating loops, concurrently the next pattern row is preselected, I prefer to change color at this point leaving the carriages to the far left
C2OR: use the second knit carriage with the hacked sinker plate set for plain knitting, make 2 passes with no yarn in its yarn feeder. The first pass drops the stitches. The second pass returns it to the right leaving all needles in the B position. Because no cam buttons are selected in this version, the carriage does not engage the belt as it would if it was also used for advancing patterning.
COL: with the new color no loops are picked up on the way to the right, needles preselect for the next loop row created when moving from left to right
COR: knit back to left creating loops
C2OR: use the second carriage set for plain knitting to drop loops on as it moves to the left, needles are flatlined in B on its return to the right
It is easy to identify the last color used by looking at the ribber. At the completion of each stitch drop, with COL, ribber stitches will clearly be in the last color used.
COL: with the new color no loops are picked on the way to the right, they will be formed on the second pass returning carriages back to the left.
C2OR: use the second carriage for 2 passes
Repeat the last 2 steps until the desired length is reached
Transfer all stitches to the top bed, create a loose bind off tested on the test swatch.
The sampled repeats altered using variation keys in the 930
8X32

16X32

16X64 The transition in aspect ratio as the original repeat used on the right is changed to double its width Here the comparison is made to the double-wide repeat also doubled in length
The elongated stitches allow objects behind them to peek through Another 2 color variation  Previous posts include samples isolated on striped grounds, using 2 colors.
Adding a third color can make the overall appearance muddy and small designs can appear lost. One sample in the post Here the goal is to use the img2 track separation, maintaining the same color change rotation in each piece.
Reviewing points to consider: in more than 2 colors dbj separations, the double-length variation key is set automatically except in the 950i, where it needs to be set manually.
In knitting drop stitch, the repeat chosen must have each color present in each design row unless the shapes are deliberately altered with solid color stripes in each color. The software is smart enough to recognize any design rows in which a color is not represented.
In conventional dbj, this keeps the design continuous, but in drop stitch, those extra rows will produce an all knit stripe interrupting the overall design.
The software scales the height of the motif to half the original, due to the fact that the double-length variation key is automatically turned on, restoring the original aspect ratio, the png loaded needs to be the original repeat scaled to double its height.
In DIY a small design will likely be less recognizable than larger ones, but working with one can help one understand how stitches can be formed.
The initial design is 6 stitches by 7 rows. It was stretched in width since the fabric elongates the design, and in height because to software will, in turn, reduce that by half to 14X12. The tiled potential appearance as a dbj fabric:In the first sample three carriages are used:
after the basic cast on, transfer and set up needles as described for all variations.
To use the second knit carriage to drop stitches, the first preselection row is made from left to right with the color 1. As the pass is made to the right, no needles on the top bed pick up loops, the ribber knits in that color, preselection for the next row of knitting is made.
As the carriage returns to the left the first row of loops for the long stitches is formed, the ribber knits the second row in that same color.
With both carriages to the far left push the button selection for the next color selection. The number prompts for color changes by the machine will be off by a row during this process.
With the second knit carriage and its altered sinker plate on the right set only to knit make two passes, returning it to the far right. The first pass drops the loops, the second pass returns empty needles to the B position, creating the long stitches.
The paired carriages will knit only on the ribber as they move from the left to the right again, preselecting for the next row of loops. They will place loops in the pattern on the top bed needles as they return to the left, and knit a second row on the ribber.
With carriages to the far left push the button selection for the next color selection.
Use the knit carriage for two passes from right to left, repeating the two steps for the length of the piece.
When the top of the piece is reached, drop any loops on the top bed before knitting a row on the ribber and preparing for transferring stitches to the top bed and binding off.
Only one set of loops is created in each color.
What of end release? because all 3 colors are present in every row, the design is suitable. The first preselection row is from right to left.
I found the combined carriages harder to push, and the knitting wanting to ride up toward the ribber bed needles.
The bottom of the swatch has loops released before a transition to plain knit simply exchanging colors every 2 rows until the end of the test was reached. The top duplicates the effect achieved above by pushing preselected needles back to B position with a tool prior to moving with the new color from left to right. Side by side comparisons: If the end release fabric is preferred but the stitches riding up are a nuisance, the carriages are hard to push, not all stitches release on a larger swatch, or a slightly fuzzy yarn is used the same result is it possible once again using the modified knit carriage to drop stitches making passes from the right?
The problem with that concept: if the knit carriage or any other tool is used
periodically to drop stitches in a long piece when it moves across the row, it drops on the first pass, leaves needles in B position on the second pass when
returning to the right. As knitting resumes with both carriages, no loops are picked up on the first pass to the right, so the pattern with colors dropping for 2 consecutive rows is interrupted, resulting in a patterning error. Selectively dropping stitches while maintaining proper needle preselection is impractical.
Also, if the intent is to use the knit carriage also to select and drop stitches for 2 rows out of every 4, the motif would need to be lengthened several times. I found when programming the far longer repeat the software refused to make the proper needle selection, switching every 2 rows rather than repeating the same multiple times. That aside, the number of passes required becomes daunting.
Changing color selection and order may make the individual shapes more noticeable: Any published or self-drawn separation for 3 colors per row patterning including every color in every row of the original design may be used, programmed as a single bed design, and knit for end release.
This swatch is only 24 stitches wide, it was a start in an attempt to place a better-defined geometric shape on a striped ground, with spaces where not every color is represented in every row between repeats. Its dbj version has some interesting surface texture on the reverse It is only part of the finished piece. The same yarns and tensions as in the previous samples. Two of the problems with end release reared their heads: the color changer side formed too short floats producing a side edge a different length than the other, and several stitches were difficult to drop from the top to the bottom of the knit, with the yarn even breaking in some spots. 

Working with only 2 colors makes the process for me far more predictable and manageable.

Previously published related posts:
Revisiting drop/release stitch lace 1  11/17
Drop stitch lace using Ayab software 2/ HOP 2/20
Drop stitch lace using Ayab software 1/18
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 3, end release  6/15
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 2, Brother KM  6/15
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 1, Brother KM  6/15
Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Passap KM 10/13
Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Japanese machines  10/13
Revisiting knit “bubbles” brother KM 10/17
A bubbles cousin 9/13
More knit bubbles  9/13
Knit bubbles and “stitch ditchers/dumpers”  9/12
Working out the kinks in my drop stitch lace saga  9/12