Interlock explorations 2; adding needles out of work

Most variations using tuck settings will loosen the fabric structure, slip stitches will narrow it. The behavior is consistent in working on both single and double beds. Color changes may be added.
There are only very short descriptions and schematics for the more complex tuck interlocks online, making attempting them a puzzle, where efforts at piecing it may not necessarily lead to correct answers, but still produce interesting knits. The ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies that draft international standards for subjects including knitting. My charts for the tuck interlocks were personal interpretations based on a few of their illustrations, among which is this for cross tuck 1, which appears to be the most straightforward, with every needle knitting on one bed, while the other works the basic 2X2 stitch alternating repeat on either one of the 2 beds translated for knitting, patterning may be used on either bed, with the opposite bed set to knit every stitch. If patterning is on the ribber, have the first and last needles in work on the main bed. The top bed is set to tuck in both directions, the fabric is shown lightly stretched and could conceivably be used to create a ruffled edge when followed by narrower stitch types ie. every needle rib or Milano variants Changing settings: with the knit carriage set to slip in one direction, knit in the other, the ribber knitting every row
Needles may be taken out of work to create pleats in every needle ribs, alternating their placement between the 2 beds. Knit stitches stabilize tuck ones. Here every other needle is taken out of work on only one bed. The tuck loops are more visible in any open spaces between the vertical rows of ribbed stitches. The ribber will knit every row on the same needles aligning directly above each other, thus ruling out full pitch.
The needles are set up so that the first and last are in use on the ribber, ensuring that a knit stitch will be on the side of any tuck stitch selected on the top bed, on the top bed the every other needle tuck selection reverses as the direction of the knit carriage does, needles brought forward knit, the ones skipped hold tuck loops in their needle hooks,  the resulting fabric Other explorations with needle out of work:
Milano waffle: single color, 4 passes with every needle knitting, 4 passes tubular, more passes of each may be added to distribute color changes. The number of needles in work on the main bed remains fixed. Choosing spacing between needles in work on the main bed A working repeat with 4 circular rows, 6 full rows knit  My first swatch in the technique was in response to a Ravelry member share describing the stitch pattern used in a finished garment  The main bed is programmed, set to slip both ways after the first preselection row. After 2 rows knit on both beds, the ribber is then switched to slip in one direction, knit in the other in response to needle selection on the top bed. Main bed needles out ribber slips, main bed needles in B, ribber knits. After 4 circular passes, the ribber is again set to knit for 2 rows. The appearance during knit rows followed by float formation when only the top bed knits The resulting grid may be used as a guide for hand techniques off the machine in isolated areas or all over Repeating the experiment with  2 stitches on each edge, this time disengaging the ribber and knitting 2 rows only on the top bed only rather than knitting circular rows and changing ribber settings. The floats are brought closer together, the fabric is far quicker to knit. Needle arrangements may be varied to accommodate thicker yarns, or alter the texture by varying both the number of knit rows and circular ones  Windowpane bourrelet: beds are supposedly at full pitch, I had better success at half-pitch. The same bed is used for single bed rows as for basic bourrelet, a color change to try: every 6 rows Because the top bed needles are in pairs, the EON selection remains evident, each of the first 2 passes completes one row of knitting.
When only the top bed knits, floats are formed between the needles in work Knitting went more smoothly when 3 needles on the top bed were used on each end The ribber carriage was disengaged to allow the pattern to knit only on the top bed. When there are needles out of work, floats will be created between the needles in work. The length of the swatch was determined when I noticed the yarn was not properly placed in the feeder, and I had already begun to drop stitches on the left side. It is one of the things to watch for, and which may merit a small preventive hack to keep the yarn from accidentally slipping out of its proper place. Half Milano with tucked long stitch: the main bed needles will tuck one row, then slip one row. The ribber needles will first knit a row, then slip a row while the second bed knits both rows. Then the ribber needles knit one row then slip a row while the second bed knits two rows. I have had no success with trying to execute my interpretation of the directions without getting floats on the top bed, and the photo in Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics is not clear enough to distinguish if there indeed are floats on the surface of the fabric. The experimental repeat Having the ribber knit every row produces many more rows on the purl side than on the knit, so the vertical all knit columns do ripple a bit. In this stitch version, with pattern knitting beginning from the left, the main bed is set to alternately tuck and slip using the half-pitch setting row one preselected for knitting the first row has been knit, the second knit row preselected the second row knit, no preselection for tuck or slip the tuck row is formed with the knit pass to the right, no preselection the row of stitches is skipped on the way to the left, preselecting for the next first knit row, tuck loops visible on top of the hooks of the selected needles the process is repeated. The resulting fabric:  Tucked pique: knit the same as for pique, but with cams set for tuck on the top bed, set beds at half-pitch.In DIY the potential for exploration is endless. As always, if needles are out of work on the main bed, end needle selection is canceled. Here slip setting in both directions is used, along with needles out of work on both beds, the 1X1 needle repeat is programmed. Set up is with ribber needles in work between needles preselected for knit stitches on the top bed. Beginning patterning on the left after the initial preselection from the right, the ribber setting:
the result has floats on the purl side, a slightly pleated look on the knit side. Playing with color and texture: use 2 or 3, change colors every 2 rows, every 4, or at the end of each full pattern repeat.
Change one or both cams from slip to tuck.
Try adding racking when using tucking on the main bed
Vary working needle arrangements with interlock settings.

The ISO illustrations gave clues as to whether the same number of needles are at work in any pass on each bed. The intent with the second pass in each pair of passes is to create a slipped,  tucked, or knit stitch in between the alternate needles on the opposite bed.
Cross miss interlock: in this instance, tuck loops alone with no in-between knit stitches are created on the top bed, in the same spots where stitches were slipped on the previous pass. Starting side does not matter, but being consistent makes experimentation easier to understand and follow. The lili buttons, set to slip in both directions remain unchanged on the ribber carriage throughout. The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions as well as to hold. My swatch began with a knit stitch selection on the top bed, marked with a red line the length of the repeat below, and needles were arranged accordingly. The tuck loops are created using a hand technique and holding combined with patterning
This shows the elongated stitches between ones that will be knit on the next pass. On rows 3 and 6 of the pattern, there will be no needle pre-selection, but the elongated slipped stitches will still be identifiable. After both no preselection row bring alternate needles out to hold using any EON needle tool. In my case, COL, I began with needle 1 on the left on row 3, alternating beginning with needle 2 on the left on row 6. The number of rows in between hand techs is an odd one, so sides for the hand tech will alter as well. This shows the tuck loops formed EON as the carriages travel to the right.
Prior to resuming pattern knitting, needles with loops on them need to be returned to the B position, maintaining the EON needle preselection for the next pass  
Repeat the process when design row 6 is reached, beginning with needle 2 on the left. The texture appears on the purl side of the piece, shown on the left
This repeat uses 6 passes as well. The tuck loops on the top bed occur above slipped stitches in the previous pass, which may be replicated, but the real problem is that every third row on the ribber is also having to tuck on specific needles with no knit stitches between them. The tuck loops happen directly above knit stitches formed in the previous row if the tucking lever is changed manually from R to P on those rows. That is a lot to juggle, a noHere the eon tuck would fall on slipped stitches in the previous pass, so that is doable. It is possible to fool the lili selection into believing there are extra needles in work on each side of the ribber, which can “make” the first stitch on either side knit rather than slip or tuck. The method is used in creating a striper backing in Brother DBJ  and would require fiddling with needles on the ribber in an irregular selection repeat as well as the hand technique on the top bed. Another definite noThis pattern repeat is a short one, the changes are more regular on the ribber. The hand tech tuck stitches could be formed for 2 rows with all stitches getting worked back to B position in between those preselected for the next pattern row. The lili buttons need to get fooled after alternating pairs of rows, the start of several nos for me.

Interlock explorations 1

Interlock is produced commercially on special circular machines and some double system flatbed knitting machines. The patent for the associated circular machine was applied for in 1907, and a copy may be found in the google patents archive. The stitch originally commonly used cotton, in machines that were able to produce a gauge of 20 stitches per inch, often used in T-shirt knits. As technology expanded so did the possibilities for a wider range of gauge and expanded structures.
I have found references to accordion, fleecy, Piquette, cross mix, and bourrelet interlock versions, enough to make one’s head ache when considering forming them on home knitting machines.
The fabric lies flat, relaxes in width but is fairly stable in height. It has good shape retention, raw or cut edges don’t curl, and it will unravel only from the last row knit. There are many variations including eight-lock, bourrelet, Ponte di Roma, and waffle weaves. Many directions are included in Machine Knitter’s source. Interestingly enough, they are shared in the chapter on knit weaving. The instructions given are for punchcard machines, often accompanied by a hand selection of needles in either or both beds. Hand selection on the ribber is easier to track by having an even number of needles in work on the ribber, bringing the first up on the left, then the first up on the right, so the illustrations for stitch formations are written that way, the selected needles knit. Lili button selection begins with slipping the first stitch, followed by knitting the second stitch on both sides. In most fabrics, as long as the remaining repeat aligns starting with a slip stitch on the ribber does not matter, as the complete repeat is shifted over by a needle. The structure can be knit with color changes to produce vertical stripes of various lengths. My initial proofs of concepts are usually in single colors.
In interlock, alternate stitches are knit on each bed, so it takes two complete carriage passes to complete a single row of knitting, making the resulting fabric thicker and heavier, with the same appearance on both sides, making it reversible. Carriage passes need to be distinguished from design rows. Charts indicate both, but not necessarily numbers reflected on mechanical row counters.
The usual rib configuration Planning for interlock:

The fabric may be executed on Brother knitting machines by programming 1X1 needle selection on the main bed, with the smallest component bordered in red. The Brother ribbers have a matching needle selection to when the lili buttons are used with the machine set to slip in both directions. Studio or Knitmaster knitters would require an RJ1 ribber carriage. I refer to the marks on the Brother ribber needle tape as blanks and dashes. When lili buttons are in use, one must work on an even number of needles. Pairs of both are required. The starting placement on either of the 2 marks does not matter, the first needle on the carriage side on the left will always slip, with the last stitch away from the carriage always being knit. This observable if one “air knits”, slowly moving the ribber carriage from side to side. As in any pattern knitting, needles selected to D or E will knit, the ones lined up in B position will slip or tuck. The needle selection needs to be coordinated so that needles opposite each other are not selected at the same time. Since the first needle on the ribber will slip, the first needle used in the pattern preselected on the main bed must be selected forward to knit, and the number of needles in work set up accordingly. Many published illustrations begin patterning from the right. I prefer to do so from the left. My final repeats were planned with needle placement shifted over by one so as to begin with a knit stitch on the top bed, a slip stitch on the ribber due to the fact that the ribber lili selection is fixed to always begin with a slipped stitch. Starting with the carriages beginning on the left side, the first needle in work on the ribber is on the left, the last needle in work on the top bed is on the right, an even number of stitches are in work on each bed. The setup after the first preselection row, with COL: Imagining the sequences required to complete a single row of knitting. I prefer to start with a knit stitch on the left, top bed, end needle selection is canceled 
When testing new ideas, particularly in rib setups, I often begin on a small number of needles and in a way that feels “safe”. This was my first test, with the ribber set at half-pitch. There is an obvious difference in rib before the slip stitch segment and the every-needle, EN, segment. Using a very thin space-dyed cotton, tension 4 on both beds, produced a soft, drapey, squishy fabric. Because once the cast on and needle set up are complete, the knitting occurs on every other needle in alternate directions, full-pitch is used without any problem even though every needle is in use on both beds. These fabrics will knit both at half-pitch and full-pitch once the pattern needle selection is established. The difference may not be noticeable depending on yarn choice and tension, or ribs may appear to group together in pairs.  Pleating in interlock may be produced by removing needles alternating from each group. The tuck setting may be used in these experiments as well, resulting in additional width.
Pique variants: rows 1 and 2 complete one row of knitting using both beds
row 3 knits on the main bed alone
rows 4 and 5 complete one row of knitting using both beds
row 6 knits on the ribber alone
charting out possible actions and repeat adjustment. The rows where only a single bed knits will create long stitches due to their being skipped on the opposite bed. Reversing and alternating the selections make the fabric reversible. The tricky part would be canceling out lili action on the ribber every 6 rows when the top bed alone needs to knit, row 3 in the design repeat. To accomplish this, after row 3 is preselected with the carriage on the left by releasing the ribber carriage, lean it forward so it will not engage any needles in work on the ribber resulting in dropped stitches, and moving it to the opposite side of the machine. One can actually get into a rhythm doing this.  As the knit carriage moves from left to right, only the main bed needle selection will knit. When the KC reaches the right, engage the ribber carriage, and knit until the same design row is reached. The blank row at the top of the 6-row repeat automates and allows for the carriages to knit from right to left on the ribber only, again creating some long stitches on skipped needles.
The selection continues to be EON after proper needle set up, so the full pitch setting is used once again prior to continuing in the pattern. This is an instance of cast-on and bind-off edges that will tend to be pulled a bit wider than the remaining knit. Depending on the final use for the fabric, that may or may not be a consideration.
I usually begin with tentative charts in a spreadsheet to consider what components may be automated and what might be the most advantageous selection of patterns on the main bed. At this point, my solution for no stitches knitting on the ribber for single rows remains to knit the carriage forward and remove it from the equation for that row.
Swiss pique or overknit is a half-pitch fabric. It looks like French pique but is a little narrower. Looking at completed knit rows, identifying the top bed patterning, isolating patterning selections carriage passes required The ribber here knits in one direction, slips in the other. The first preselection row is made toward the color changer, needle set up is checked as for previous samples, the ribber is set to knit to the right, slip to the left the appearance of the stitches when both carriages knit after only the top bed knits with slip stitch floats behind every skipped stitch, which, in turn, will appear longer on the knit facePonte di Romathe modified version of the repeat used in my test swatchPairs of rows of interlock are followed by pairs of circular rows. The repeat was changed and the second color was used to define the difference in stitch formation between the two groups, color changes were made every four rows. Using a single pair of carriages and having to constantly change cam settings appears far too complicated to manage for producing any length of fabric. My hack for making things easier and faster was to resort to knitting with 4 carriages. One pair was set for interlock operating from the left, the other set so as to achieve tubular knit. The ribber carriage is set to knit from right to left and to slip from left to right when the main bed knits. The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions so that the pattern selection remains continuous. It will slip all stitches while moving to the left on rows with no needle preselection, knit on all preselected needles on its return to the right.
Extension rails are used since both KCs are selecting patterns. I wrote about the concept of using 4 carriages in 2019, in the Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches: knitting with 4 carriages post. The difference here is that the carriages on the left do not have the added benefit of support from the color changer. The elastics placed as shown may have been more for my psychological well-being than for the continued proper function of machine parts. There is a limit to the width of knitting that may be produced this way with the carriages coupled on each end. The knit carriages may travel off the top bed and onto the extension rails safely, but the ribber carriages must remain anchored enough on the rear rail so as not to go flying off on their own while clearing the end of the belt on each side. I prefer leaving the slide lever in the center position in all my rib knitting and am not convinced as to a visible difference between knitting at half or full pitch in the swatches with the yarns I have used so far. 
is characterized by horizontal relief ridges on one side, is made with an interlocking base, is sometimes referred to as ottoman rib or ripple stitch, is sometimes referred to as Evermonte, is knitted at half-pitch. The combined carriages knit for 4 rows, followed by four rows knitting on the top bed alone. Seeking a workaround other than disengaging ribber carriage or canceling lili selection and leaving the carriage on the slip setting in both directions on rows where only the top bed knits, one option to speed up the process is to hack a main bed sinker plate. The result is the ability to use a second knit carriage to select and knit patterns on the top bed only, operating from the opposite side. Four passes on either bed complete 2 rows of knitting. The post on ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles describes the process in more detail.   To use the yarn from the right, only before the first carriage pass to the left, its end needs to be knit through a stitch on that side to anchor it. A different cone or ball of the same color and weight yarn may be used, or in my case, I used a thin, different fiber in a second color.
The swatch was knit in four-row sequences, there is a subtle ridge apparent on the knit side created when only its rows knit, which could easily have enhanced by knitting more rows on the single bed. In eight lock hand selection is required on the ribber, the technique reminds one of the double-faced aka reverse jacquard fabrics. My initial test was to knit twice as wide a repeat, thinking it might be easier to identify stitch formation, working on 4 X an odd number of stitches, in this case, 36, beginning and ending with knitting on the top bed,   but 1: I actually cast on 34. In a swatch, such adjustments 2: are easy to make. The only automated selection of needles on the ribber is EON using lili buttons, in any other configuration there is no choice but to hand-select needles in between selected needles on the main bed. Casting on at half-pitch begins with the first needle in work on the top bed, the last in work on the ribber. Once the first row has been preselected, and the pitch is changed to P the ribber moves to the left, leaving an even number of needles in work opposite each other on both beds. Both carriages are set to slip in both directions. The knit carriage will knit the automatically selected needles, slip the unselected, while the ribber knits needles brought up manually to D position, skips the remaining ones in B.
A 2X2 needle selection tool for a 9 mm machine or a 7 prong transfer tool may be adjusted and used to help bring up the proper needles to E position on the ribber. single row pockets are formed.  Even though the needles are in full pitch, if an error in needle selection 3: happens across a row a tip-off will be that floats are created on the main bed between selected needles, and there will be a textural change across the row of knitting unless the error is corrected.
If another yarn end or a second color is added, as always, check and make certain the first few stitches knit. Proper lighting and using a yarn color and thickness that can actually be distinguished on the needle bed are useful to avoid 4: dropped stitches not being noticed. The color change 5: shows that a single row is indeed completed with every 2 passes of the carriages, and there is a shift visually in the linear pattern.  The same process could be applied to the charted repeat. A needle selector can speed up the manual work on the ribber for  2X2 selection

Tuck variations: tuck, cross tuck, royal, texi plique. So far these are my tentative charts for the stitches, each pair of rows represents a full single row of knitting. There are situations where cam settings would require changing from slip to tuck and some locations where the same needle selection repeats on subsequent rows, leaving lots to ponder about and proof, my starting charts are often edited and at times abandoned as the work progresses and both eyeballs and brain have had a break. In this instance, the topic will be reviewed again in a future post.  

Since most of my swatches are experiments and I work by trial and error, I am now rethinking my repeats and reached the what am I doing? point.
I have some interesting or even pretty fabric swatches so far. Illustrations in published sources are often shown for interlock fabrics on every other needle, my supposition has been that with every needle in use on both beds, at half-pitch placing the needles on one bed in the center of those on the other and working in thin yarns the same repeats would work for achieving knits in these families, so in my illustrations, the symbols are placed to represent needles in work between each other on alternate beds, rather than truly on every other needle. To review, the differences between pattern selection using the slip or the tuck setting: with every needle in work on the ribber, the repeat is programmed on the top bed with the first preselection row from right to left,  the needle setup, depending on the starting and ending needles used. With both part buttons pushed in, in every needle rib, the needles in D will knit, the ones in B get skipped completely. As the carriage passes to the right, the needles for the next row are preselected, come forward holding only the skipped stitches in the row just knit, while the alternate needles are set up to be skipped on the next pass to the left After the two passes one full row of knitting is completed on the patterning bed. The needle preselection is now on the next row of the repeat, in this case, row 1.Tuck setting using the same repeat behaves differently. With both tuck buttons engaged, by default, the needle on either side of the tuck stitch will knit, with every carriage pass. The starting preselection is the same as for the slip stitch version, after the first pass to the right, the preselected needles to D will have been knit, with tuck loops formed on the previously non-selected needles. Because the repeat alters needle positions every row, as the right side of the bed is reached, the tuck loops from row one will appear on the shank of the newly preselected to D position needles, ready to be knit, and the alternate group of needles is held back to create the next row of tuck loops as the carriages return to the left. The process repeats throughout. Two passes complete a single row of knitting. The carriage actions for completed passes 1 and 2 The result is a very pliable fabric that when relaxed off the machine and stretched shows the tuck structure more, is reversible. The basic repeat elongated on the top bed creates a vertical striped pattern if color changes are added, coordinated with needle selections, and are made every 2 rows. As an experiment, the double-length patterning was tried at the top of the swatch. At that point, the fabric is no longer reversible unless the 1X1 fixed needle selection is altered manually on the ribber. My yarn is thin, and the tension used on the loose side.   The close-up begins to make the tuck loops a bit more visible. The swatch was knit at half-pitch. Using full pitch in patterns that allow for it, diminishes the appearance of “ladders” between rows of stitches, indicated by cyan arrows.  
More basics: on the ribber, whether using lili buttons or not, these are the lever and change knob positions available Manually the tucking lever position can be changed from R to P for a single row or more of tucks and then returned to the R placement. Switching between the 2 stitch types on the ribber is far easier and less complicated than changing cam buttons on the main bed, however, there are no rows where only tucked loops are created without knit stitches beside each of them if the lili buttons are in use. Using the slip-tuck Brother selection on the main bed allows for slip and tuck settings to be used at the same time in the same row as long as opposite cam buttons are in use. Some of the old punchcard books include patterns referred to as “lace-like” using the setting. The starting side makes a difference in results as to whether one leads with a slip stitch float or a tuck loop in the actual knitting. Swatches in this post have begun with the first needle in work on the ribber and a forward, to be knit, stitch selection on the first needle on the top bed, with an even number in work on both beds. The end needle selection is canceled unless stated otherwise. The cam setting used for these tests the setup row with the first preselection row knit from the right, ending COL as the carriage moves back to the right, the previously not selected needles will slip and get a tad longer while being preselected forward to D for the next carriage pass. Once the pass is completed, the needle selection has reversed, the now non-selected needles will tuck as those same needles are preselected for the next pass from the right.
The appearance COR After the return pass to the left, the tuck loops are evident on top of the needles preselected forward to knitting position on the next pass to the right. Two carriage passes fill one row of knitting, here ending COL. On the ribber, as seen in the thumbnails, one may choose slip or tuck in one direction alternating with an all knit row in the other, or tuck or slip in both directions in an alternating pattern EON_EOR, on an even number of needles with the addition of lili buttons. The appearance on the ribber of the formation of the loops echoes that seen on the main bed changing needle placement unless the carriage is set to tuck in only one direction. A variant of the single bed capability for changing stitch type formation with direction may be achieved on the ribber by manually changing the tucking lever from R to P when the other side of the knitting is reached. A test can quickly be made to observe the stitch formation with the main bed set to knit every row. I chose the left tucking lever down to R when the carriages were on the left, up to P when the carriages reached the right. The tuck stitches with no further action line up over the knit stitches in the previous row There often are aaargh moments in knitting. This has happened to me with some 7 prong transfer tools before, here it did with a double eye tool on my transfer row prior to binding off. There must be a split in the eye of the tools not visible to the human eye resulting in the stitch entering the eye. So far I have been able to rescue the stitches involved, but not without lots of fiddling and some cursing Experiments outside the interlock family: the two-by-two repeat is supplied in most packets of cards that come with the purchase of a punchcard machine. At one point in time, Kate Armitage published a book containing 104 variations of knitting using the card, both single bed and combined with ribber use. There was also the equivalent for card #3, the point being variations are limited only by time and imagination. Because I am now completing posts over time online as opposed to working offline and then publishing, the opportunity is there to share mistakes as well as what appear to be successes at the moment. Once again I fell into the not-writing notes because it is so obvious mode and there was enough time lapse between my first knit swatch below and my writing about it that I was no longer certain about the settings used when sharing it. The knit has more stretch and texture than seen in the photo Re-swatching for possible variations, with notes this time and with lili buttons in use. If the cams are not in the up position on the ribber carriage, stitches will knit, not slip. N is king, without cam buttons in use in either bed, stitches will knit even if a pattern is being selected. There is an adequate stretch at the top allowing the fabric to relax achieved by transferring to the main bed and using a latch tool bind off around 2 gate pegs. The possible variations are endless, note to self: remember to keep good notes. 

Visualizing maze or mosaic potential from tuck or slip stitch repeats

I have written extensively on mosaics and mazes, color separations required for drawing their motifs, and visualizing the resulting patterns while planning slip stitch or tuck repeats. A recent exchange with a knitting friend, Tanya Cunningham, brought up her idea of using Gimp to investigate the potential of self-drawn tuck patterns becoming pleasing mazes or mosaic designs in color. Tanya has worked extensively with img2track, can be found in the FB group and Ravelry. It had not occurred to me to reverse engineer designs for this purpose. Tanya uses Gimp in a different way than I do, I am hoping she will share her process for this purpose when documented.
I have grown comfortable and fast with the combined use of Numbers and Gimp to achieve what I desire in terms of color separations. At the moment, on the assumption that estimating the overall shape is the goal, a black and white processed rendering may be a sufficient representation of the result.

Punchcard books are a great source of “safe” tuck designs. The best are those that have columns one stitch wide by 2 rows high. They are also more interesting if there are areas of solid black. Patterns from publications intended for use on electronics are often color reversed to start with in order to minimize drawing pixels or to make the design easier to read and will have lots of blank areas. Punchcard users would need to punch the ground as opposed to the design, electronic users can achieve the goal by the flick of a switch or a quick software command. For my first series of steps and methods, I am using the repeat that appeared as a knit using different settings in the post on mazes and mosaics from universal patterns.
Presented on the left, the repeat would be suitable only for thread lace or FI with very long floats. Color reverse allows one to use it for tuck and slip stitch, whether in one color or with color changes every 2 rows. The color separation to approximate the result with color changes begins with the same process as that used for designing mosaics. Once the image is rendered as a correct B/W png with no apparent errors, it is copied and pasted on a larger canvas, the mode converted back to RGB. The red cells make it easier to keep track of rows that need to be color inverted. Using the shift key and rectangle tool, multiple pairs of rows can be selected sequentially and color inverted. Beginning the selection with the very edge of the black squares on the left does not interfere with changing the color of the extra columns on the left side of the design. If pixels are added accidentally drawn in any of the 4 extra columns on the left, they can easily be removed when the completed conversion is cropped to selection for the final repeat. The completed color separation can then be bucket filled to match imagined colorsTiling the repeats to imagine the final knit presents the problem that results from working on a square grid and comparing the results to a knit, which usually produces a rectangular one. The representation for the linear patterns produced on the knit side of the piece cannot factor in some of the added distortions created by the stitch type used. I process my images in Pages or Numbers, depending on which document contains my most recent work and happens to be open. It is also possible to perform the final rescale in Gimp. Most knits approach a 4:3 ratio, with gauge variants in highly textured fabrics.  To preserve a clean design, tile and save the original, screengrab the resulting image, load it in Gimp, and rescale.   Repeat the motif for the same number in both height and width when tiling it. The colored versions before and after scaling, compared with the slip stitch swatch. It is possible to produce a rectangular grid to start with on which to draw in Gimp, but the larger canvas size occupies a significantly larger space on the screen, complicating the process. For small designs, however, that may be an option to give one the sense of aspect ratio for the design in the final knit ie in representational FI. To resize the grid in uneven proportions, the chain-link below the spacing values needs to be broken This repeat is designed for an electronic, requires color-reverse. Since it is 24 stitches wide and it may also be modified and used on a card. In this instance, the original marks for rows and stitches are single height. The image is processed, matching the original, rendered double-height, color reversed, and then alternate pairs of rows were color inverted to render the repeat used in the test swatch Once again, the possible change in scale is estimated. The repeat though only 24 stitches wide, is 92 rows high. On the left the repeat is shown as it appears on a square grid, to its right is the scaled 4:3 version, in a pixel count approximating the size of the swatch. It takes a bit of squinting to see the pattern more recognizable in the longer repeat in the larger tile The swatch was pressed, becoming wider than when first off the machine. It was knit using the slip stitch setting, could also be executed in tuck stitch, which would both widen and shorten the fabric and make the purl side more interesting.  The software can provide a preview of the result far more quickly than knitting samples, but again, the previews are only approximations of the scale, and cannot show distortions to lines as one adds more texture.
Repeating the process starting with a diamond shape that as given is only suitable for thread lace or FI with problematic floats,  and with a check tuck pattern that may change in aspect ratio considerably when knitted The proof of concept swatch, knit in tuck stitch, begins to show the distortion by the stitch formations, textures vs plain knit, easily seen at the top edge. The bind-off is around 2 gate pegs in order to allow enough stretch.  Anyone familiar with either or both programs may find this a very quick way to visualize the scaling and moving of motifs within DIY designs and their possible outcomes prior to test knitting

Bowknot aka butterfly or dragonfly stitch in more than one color

There has been a resurgence of interest in this stitch in the FB machine knitting group and discussion exploring a variety of methods for creating it. The inspiration, taken from a commercial sweater-knit:   For some single-color variations see Bowknot/ Butterfly stitch on the machine and No longer a mystery pattern.
I program repeats whenever possible, find it useful in eliminating errors, particularly in longer pieces. My own first experiments for this fabric were conducted using the fair isle setting, which is essentially a slip stitch automatically working 2 colors with each pass of the knit carriage single bed. Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed explores some of the methods for bringing slip stitch floats to the knit side of these fabrics, which is part of the hand techniques necessary to achieve the colored versions. As with any knit fabric yarn qualities, color contrasts, tolerance for proper stitch formation are all variables.
For vertical columns in 2 colors, it is only necessary to program a single, fixed row with a punchcard or electronic, or choose any pixel-based repeat akin to this with full pairs of alternating stripes. I like to plan with selected needles at each end of the sample With the machine set to FI, needles not selected will knit a ground color, while selected needles will knit the color in the B feeder. It is easier to manipulate the slip stitch floats from purl to knit side if working in the non selected groups of needles. Having the columns in odd numbers of stitches makes it easier to handle steps that require finding the center needle in each group if one is wanting to maintain symmetry. In my first test, I manipulated only the selected groups of needles to work the float movements, leaving the floats from the other color undisturbed, which makes the process far more convoluted than it needs to be. In this and in the subsequent sample I manipulated the left and right-hand pairs of floats moving them to the front of the knit, leaving the choice of what to do with the remaining center floats. In A they were brought up on top of the center needle in E position before knitting the next row. In B they are lifted into the hook of the needle brought out to B position, so that stitch is knit in color 1, while in C the remaining single stitch floats are simply left alone. In a couple of spots the yarn split, getting hooked up creating bleed through, and what would result in an issue if that happened on the group of floats that were to be moved. As stated, the process is easier and quicker working on non selected groups. Above, the yellow yarn was thicker than the blue. To maintain proper color selection in the non-selected column, the center needle needs to remain in B position, with the slip stitch floats below it before the next row knits. If the needle is brought out to E, it will knit in the contrast color, forming floats in that color on the purl side, and a knit stitch in what was planned as an all-solid column on the knit. The results are seen at the top of the first sequence in the swatch. I chose to limit my number of floats to 4 to keep the process manageable, moved stitches on the left of the center needle to the front of the knit, then followed with those to its right. One of the many things to explore in hand technique fabrics is finding a way to handle tools that may be more comfortable than others, practicing on single blocks of color first can help establish that. Below both yarns are equal weight and thinner. The floats formed by the color in the B feeder are also hooked up on the center needle in each vertical group in that color, forming a pattern on the purl side as well. The needle position for selection for B feeder yarn also needs to be maintained. Bringing the needle out to E ensures it will knit on the next pass. In both of my tests, the slip stitch floats on the knit side lie more horizontally than the lifted up floats on the purl  Other ways of working the fabric, along with a history of the FB thread offered by Claudia Scarpa including a single bed slip stitch version with an English downloadable PDF
her youtube video illustrates a different way of managing floats than mine.
JuliKnit offers 2 videos knit on Silver Reed 1, and 2. Both are knit using the ribber, the first method uses holding to gather loops on each of the beds, the second begins to address automation for needle selection on the top bed using DAK, with the selection on the ribber remaining manual. The stitch illustrations generated in DK offer knit stitch simulations such as these Executing her versions on a Brother machine requires some interpretation. The fabric is constructed using the ribber in conjunction with the main bed. The vertical columns are 5 stitches wide.
Colors are worked one at a time. If a color changer is to be used, an even number of rows would be required for each pattern segment. For 4 floats followed by an all knit row, the repeat would be 5 rows high, so one consideration would be operating with the second color from the right, requiring free passes. Studio machines release the top of the knit carriage at an angle from the bottom, so that explains the move seen in the video in order for the carriage to be moved to the right. Brother machines use the slip stitch setting in either or both directions, to achieve that. Using both buttons avoids any confusion. All needles in use must be in the B position for the “free pass” to avoid dropped stitches. The number of rows gets adjusted in the videos eventually to 6.
When working on the top bed, the ribber is set to slip both ways.
For those unfamiliar with Studio settings a brief review: the Studio SRP60N ribber introduced the option for knitting emulating the lili selection in Brother. The grey plastic piece on the left of the studio ribber, the autoset lever, when cleared would essentially duplicate setting Brother levers to slip manually in both directions, clearing it again would return it to knit. Cast on either EON or EN rib. Transfer needles in a 5X5 rib beginning and ending with a single needle in work on the ribber on the far left and right,  setting up the initial needle arrangement for the fabric. Black dots represent needles in work on both beds, red ones the initial needles that will be worked in holding position on the top bed. The video knits each color for an even number of rows. Bring the first and last needle into work on the ribber before knitting each row. The remaining stitches knit only on the main bed. The knit carriage is set to knit, the ribber to slip in both directions. Pick up the chosen color on the left, knit for an odd number of rows, when carriages are on the right, push held needles back to work position so they will knit on the pass back to the color changer. The ribber knits the next color. A review of the Brother ribber carriage for those not familiar with it COL: main bed will now slip in both directions, set it accordingly. The ribber only knits. The center needle on the top bed that held the butterflies is transferred down to the ribber, illustrated in the red dots over black ones. The center needles in the blank areas on the ribber, blue dots, are brought up to hold, the ribber levers are set to knit in both directions, holding levers are set to hold in both directions as well,   knit for an odd number of rows, with carriages on the right, push held needles back to work position so they will knit on the pass back to the color changer. COL: knit carriage changes back to knit settings, the ribber slip setting in both directions is restored. The center stitches that formed ribber butterflies are transferred up to the top bed, needles at the center of the blank areas on the top bed are brought out to hold. The color is changed, and the process begins again. My first efforts were met with dropped stitches after a few rows and expletives. My second efforts fared no better, I simply could not avoid dropped stitches on either bed, perhaps because of my yarn choice and the small tension it required. Working on the single bed once more, using the slip stitch setting and knitting one color at a time, I achieved a fabric more similar to the original photograph. The chart reflects the number of needles in my test swatch, with a 2 knit stitch border added on each side Each color knits for 4 rows. At the end of each 4-row sequence, the non selected needles allow for manipulation of the floats. The transfers in the piece begin on row 5. Before the next row is knit in the alternate color, the slip stitch floats are reconfigured, bringing stitches 1 and 2, 4 and 5 in each group to the knit side of the fabric, leaving the center floats undisturbed. Bring the whole group out to E position so they will form knit stitches with the first row of contrast as the carriage moves to the right. Knit 4 rows. The carriage will once again be on the left unless 2 carriages are in use from opposite sides. The center needle in each group of 5 will be left unselected. Lift floats up onto that center needle, and bring it out to E position so that it will form a knit stitch in the next color to be used. The final result, closer to original



Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed

It is also possible to create solid color patterns on the purl side on a striped ground by at first transferring all stitches down to the ribber, then, in turn, using slip stitch selection on the top bed to choose only the stitches that will be manipulated on the main bed. A similar repeat worked on the single bed, may be found in the previous post on Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed. And a relative, including a double bed version: Bowknot/ Butterfly stitch on the machine, and: A no longer “mystery pattern”.
When working over a striper backing, the color changer is generally in use, and changes happen in even numbers of rows. In my test swatches changes are made every two rows, and whether single or double bed, the color yarn creating the solid color shape needs to not knit while the alternate color is worked only in the background. The held stitches grow in length.
End needle selection is canceled in my samples. The extra needle selection prior to the next all knit row helps track the direction of the moves, stitches are moved three at a time, there are no cable crossingsThings do not always “work”, that is part of the process The next step for me was to explore cable crossings on elongated stitches working double-bed. A basic pattern on any programmable machine for playing with elongated stitches on one bed while knitting every stitch on the other is to program pairs of blank rows followed by solid punched or black pixel rows. The yellow line in this chart illustrates the row on which cabling might occur. Programming the width of the needle bed allows for only the stitches forming vertical columns in chosen locations to be put into work, allowing one to place groups that will involve crossings anywhere on the chosen pattern width. A base is knit in the ground color, which slips for 2 rows on the main bed, creating the elongated stitches that will be cabled. I had no problem with 2X2 cables,  but as in working on the single bed, for me, straightforward 3X3 crosses were not cooperative, even when I attempted to introduce extra knit stitches on the sides that were then dropped for added give on the last slipped row, taking me back to the drawing board. Cabling, returned to in a later post, with adjustments, making things work. Continuing with shapes on striped grounds, this is the result of a self-drawn pattern  The approach is different than in the blog post on Brother shadow lace, rib transfer carriage, where shapes were created in only one color, and the textured patterns by bringing needles in and out of work on the ribber. To create the striped ground in the above, color changes happen every 2 rows. The ribber knits every needle, every row. With the ribber on half-pitch, the transfers are all made from the main bed needle to the needle immediately below it and slightly to its left.
In the chart on the left, the green cells represent black pixels that will be programmed for patterning on the top bed, red cells, the stitches on the top bed that need to be transferred down to the ribber on the respective row.
Grey cell rows stand in for all blank ones in the final repeat.  This design is too wide for punchcard machines, but the fabric is possible there as well in different widths, isolated or all over. After casting on, all stitches are transferred to the ribber. Border, plain knit stripes can be added by simply having a larger number of needles in work on the ribber than the planned pattern width. With no needles selected in the pattern on the top bed, those ribber stitches will simply knit every row.
These fabrics are a little different than those with needles out of work on the main bed while using the slip stitch setting, in which case KC II on electronics, end needle selection needs to be turned off on all models. When all needles are in B position, depending on the pattern, KCI may be used. Simply using KCII eliminates any guesswork.
The first preselection row is toward the color changer with the knit carriage set to slip in both directions, only patterned area needles need to be in work. Non-selected needles, as usual, perform no function while those corresponding to where black pixels or punched holes occur will pick up loops on the top bed, initially creating eyelets, and then continue to form knit stitches until any of the corresponding stitches are transferred down to the ribber. The pattern yarn forms a short stitch in one direction, an elongated one in the other. A detailed close-up of stitch formations Plain striped rows in areas without the design continue to be knit in the slip stitch setting, or every needle in work on the top bed will pick up loops.
When hand manipulating stitches it pays to be mindful of maintaining all needles in the pattern in B position, not accidentally sliding them back to A.  In the past, I have attempted pile knitting on my machines. Studio machines produce the best fabric in the category, I have read Toyota performed as well. Books such as this are a good source for pile designs, including the card repeat used in my proofs of concept Punchcards, in theory, may be used as given and set to double length, while for use in electronics drawing the pattern single height and using the double-length setting is also an option. Starting sides and fixing errors have always been more confusing for me when using the double-length feature, I prefer to punch holes or program pixels as I intend to knit them. The isolated reduced repeat for use in the electronic is charted, with an initial one-pixel error in 2 consecutive rows, marked with red cells. In transcribing any design, it is worth checking repeats multiple times after eyeballs and brains have had a rest. This was my start:
The design process using Numbers before exporting the repeat to Gimp for reduction to B/W png: in this approach, the repeat is drawn double height to start with. The red cells represent stitches that will be transferred down to the ribber before knitting the next row in the pattern color from left to right.  The first test is of an isolated motif. The yellow arrow points to the pixel error, the cyan to the positions where some needles in the full repeat were “accidentally” placed in A position, not B, resulting in pattern stitches not being formed.  Another review of the original card, a final adjustment in the repeat: Tiled view, committing to the result, the larger test swatch Two other options for charting the fabric in numbers: A. draw the repeat as given
B. starting cell size used was 20X20, change the height to 40
C. mark corner blank cells and screengrab for Gimp import
D. the repeat processed in Gimp matches the first version
Any simple Fair Isle repeat may also be used. The numbering in the charts matches what is normally seen on the left edge of the tables
A. the FI repeat, 8 rows high
B. a table slightly longer than double the repeat height, hide even-numbered rows
C. copy and paste the FI design on the table with hidden rows
D. unhide rows, isolate the repeat, adjust cell height, and continue to process as described above 

The original punchcard design may be used in a different manner if the goal is a single color fabric. The design may be copied as is, then filling in the blank lines with the same holes or pixels as in the row directly below it. Here, in addition, the repeat is altered to accommodate a half drop repeat on the right with a few pixels changed. My initial proof of concept is 32 stitches wide, narrower than the full repeat The rows need to be scanned before every pass, as transfers to the ribber are not symmetrical due to the shapeshift on the right of the design. The world of possibilities grows even further for single color shadow lace, when, examining the same design, one recognizes that the pile knit card, with the blank rows filled in in pattern, is the same as the fair isle version of the repeat, rendered double long Some authors have suggested plaiting as an alternative to creating shapes with true brioche, which can be complex.  To my mind, plaiting falls in the beauty being in the eye of the beholder category, I prefer far crisper color distinction in my knits. This sample from the previous shadow lace post uses thick and thin yarns  Using the image adapted from the studio pile card once more, I tested using 2 yarns of similar weight, the adjusted test repeat: its accompanying test swatch

I have long been interested in pleated knits, both single and double-bed. Working single color or with plaiting makes the repeats easier for DIY designing. Seeking proof of concept for possible “origami” pleating: on the left, yellow marks the spots for transfers to the top bed, which will create folds out toward the knit side. For folds toward the purl side, stitches are manipulated on the ribber, with the final design repeat shown on the right. The ribber carriage is set to knit throughout. The needle from which the stitch is transferred to the main bed is moved completely out of work. After the transfer, the main bed needle accepting it is returned to the D position.
The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions, end needle selection is canceled.  Subsequently,  non-selected needles, 1 in the photo, serve as guides for transfers to the ribber, made every two rows. The needles emptied from the transfers need to be maintained in the work, B, position. The selected needles, 2 in the photo, will pick up loops automatically, creating eyelets as seen in previous swatches. The swatch would have benefited from tighter tension or thicker yarn, the folding effect is greater than reflected in the photo. Initially, those pairs of center stitches were not transferred up to the main bed, showing the absence of that fold when that action is omitted. Any of these patterns benefit from deliberate planning of the placement of the pattern on the main bed, not done in this instance.   Transitioning to smaller repeats, tiling will help avoid patterning “errors” as seen here where the full diamond shapes reverse  Graph paper or spreadsheet planning will help avoid misses in necessary transfers in areas where all needles have been selected the file for multiple repeats after color reverse the test knit as using transfers as described above and here the empty needles creating the eyelets were filled by picking up the purl bar from the stitch below on the ribber. A lot of work for a change that is not significant in the structure of the fabric.  In my last test on eliminating holes and how that affects the degree of the folds, transfers to fill in newly selected needles on the top bed were made from below the adjacent needle on the top bed, B, as opposed to immediately below on the ribber, A If patterning is used to track transfers, needle selection on the top bed needs to be maintained throughout, the result of this process is not interesting enough and just too fiddly and time-consuming for me to be interested in exploring it further There is an interesting scale and depth of fold comparison between this version and the first using the repeat, achieved by tightening the tension as much as possible, and possibly by reducing the size of the eyelets.

Exploring manipulations with more than one color patterning on the main bed: there is a type of DBJ that relies on knitting the same color for 2 rows that is inherently different from the KRC built-in separation that is the default in the Japanese model machines. It causes elongation in the design, while the KRC version minimizes it. The differences and methods of the corresponding color separations have been discussed in other posts. Stitch manipulations may occur when working DBJ as well. Simple designs make the best start for beginning to explore the topic An easy variation is to plan full repeat segments mixed with a striped ground worked only on the ribber Take care if copying and pasting single columns to alter a repeat width that the whole column is indeed copied and that if using the pencil tool flood fill is not used unintentionally. The original intent was also to correct the elongated slip stitch segments on the edge of the programmed vertical designs marked in blue, but the paste with errors in red accomplished creating the same issue The design is programmed for DBJ. Because of the color separation used, the first preselection row is from right to left. Before knitting the first pattern row, all 10 non-patterning needles on the main bed were transferred down to the ribber. The first segments were knit using striper backing, with the ribber knitting every stitch, every row, in both colors. When a slip stitch is used with needles out of work on the main bed, end needle selection should be canceled. In A it was not. The result is that end needles alongside the out-of-work column knit with each color in each row. In B, end needle selection was canceled, and one can now see the elongated slipped stitches that result from areas that should have been marked with the contrasting color As long as the number of stitches on the ribber is even, lili buttons may be used, affecting the scale of the pattern in both height and width. In A, they were used with the ribber set to slip in both directions, in B, set to tuck in both directions. C marks the return to the N/N setting, with needle transfers to mark a possible pleat. The initial pleat idea charted out for single stitch folds, stitches transferred to ribber in the R columns, to the top bed in the T columns The result is a fairly soft pleat, the choice below was to retain end needle selection.  Various ribbed pleat configurations are explored in Pleats: ribbed, folding fabrics. This repeat may not be the best to use for a variety of reasons, but experimenting while using the same design and yarns can be useful in understanding stitch formations. Theoretically, the alternating direction of folds should create sharp or knife pleats. folds up asPaired transfers in the planning stages: because the repeat is small and has a single center pivot point, it is rendered once more, adding columns Here the transfers planned to opposite beds are marked on a 48 stitch repeat with red cells.
The resulting fabric relaxed on the left, lightly steamed on the right Note: the color positions in the design have been reversed from those in the first swatch. If “floats” are noted at any time in the spaces where needles are out of work on the ribber, look for dropped stitches.

Vertical bands of color,  even in patterns may be transferred to and from beds to achieve a sort of intarsia effect. One option is to work with vertical bands of fixed color, using the KRC built-in separation. When shifting gears it is useful to remember the starting side for the preselection of the first row of patterns. With many of the previous patterns, designed for color changes every 2 rows, starting side was on the right, toward the color changer. With KRC in use, the first preselection row is away from the color changer on the left, moving toward the right. With either method, starting on the wrong side will knit stripes as opposed to planned patterns.  Needles in locations where only the backing is to be shown are transferred down to the ribber. Leaving the eyelets, they were transferred back up to the main bed when brought into work to reverse or change the shape. Addition and subtraction of stitches take place before the next pass with the alternate color. Here movement is random, to get some sense of the effect, it could be made deliberate by following a chart or color separating and automating the pattern, with its starting side on the right.  This sample is from a much earlier post. Transfers could be made less frequently to change the angles in the resulting shapes, always onto the same color What of having shapes appearing in each of the 2 colors on a striped ground? Eliminating some of the guesswork I used the repeat from a previous single-bed blog post on block slip stitch color separations The repeat, 32X44The resulting sample, the yarn is thin, might have benefited from tighter tension and more contrast.  These fabrics and related shadow lace ones fall in the category of double bed embossed patterns, many more variations are possible, and deserving of their own post.

Brother shadow lace, rib transfer carriage

I have probably owned this accessory since the early 90s. After making a faint-hearted attempt at using it at the time and failing, it has been stored in the original box in the interim and just came out of retirement. The multiple languages operating manual for its use may be downloaded from There several video tutorials available on Youtube as well, generally illustrating simple transfers across an entire row in structures such as ribs used for bands and cuffs.
The tool is designed for the standard gauge, transfers only from the ribber up to the main bed. It is best to use yarn that has some stretch. The recommendation in the manual and in youtube videos is to perform the transfers with the pitch set to H. My own ribber is balanced, I found I had problems with transfers in that position, several carriage jams, and to get things to work properly in half-pitch I had to use the racking handle to move the ribber needles slightly more to the left for the transfers. The needles containing stitches to be moved, need to be slightly to the right of the needles with which they will share yarn, that spot may turn out to also be just wide enough to allow for the pattern to be worked without changing the ribber pitch.  The yarn used is a 2/18 Merino, knit at tensions 3/5. In terms of positioning the carriage, a wire that is akin to that found on Passap strippers is on its underneath. In positioning the carriage on the beds, check visually that it is indeed lying between the gate pegs of both beds prior to attempting to travel with it to the opposite side If any carriage jam occurs, it takes cautious wriggling to release the wire and carriage. Upon completion of the transfers, simply lift up to remove it from the beds.
Generally, the ribber tension used needs to be set on 4 at the minimum. The last row just prior to transfers will likely need to be knit at a looser tension than the remaining rib. If the stitches are too small they will not be picked up for the transfer. Folks familiar with lace knitting are aware that just the right amount of weight can make a difference in forming proper transfers. With these fabrics, too little weight may result in loops forming on gate pegs, too much weight, and stitches may remain over closed latches on the ribber needles and not share their yarn for transfers.  Again, the transfer carriage operates only from right to left.
Studio instructions for their version of the accessory actually offer some different and more specific recommendations. When knitting full needle rib all the needles or pattern segments the machine generally will be in Half Pitch. Though there are needles in work on both beds, the ribber should be set to full pitch, aka P position, “point to point” prior to transfers, bringing them in close alignment in order to facilitate the process. Passap machines accomplish the same by changing the angle of the racking handle to other than the full, up placement in order to achieve the necessary alignment.
The Brother accessory and its parts, has clear imprinted illustrations for use

The change lever has only 2 positions, up and down respectively Its position is determined by the number of needles on the ribber one wishes to transfer.
The carriage manual recommends its use after knitting a last ribbed row to the left, but it is possible to use it with both knitting carriages on either side, as long as there is generous space to clear all stitches when the accessory is placed on the bed, moved to the opposite side, and removed. An extension rail may be needed to achieve that amount of clearance.
Operating slowly, one can watch the process of transfers while moving from right to left. Though skeptical, I found the transfers happened easily, with occasional skips. I worked with hand-selection of needles on the ribber to create a pattern, first with hand-selection, then with racking the ribber position to change the relationship of needles on one bed to the other, initially transferred after every 2 rows knit. The knit carriage was set to knit both ways, the ribber to knit in one direction, creating loops on the selected needles, and securing them in the other, allowing for the loops on the ribber needles to be transferred up to the main bed, before working 2 more rows. The “errors” in patterning were operator errors in needle selection as stitches were dropped, and not all the required needles were then returned to work position. Not a technique I would use for all-over fabric, but good practice. When the transfer occurs properly, the ribber needles will have yarn placed over closed latches, ready to be dropped, the yarn is shared and looped over stitches on the main bed, akin to tuck loops, outlined in the photo with the black oval. The first image is from the manual for the accessory, while in the photo, one improperly transferred stitch is outlined in red. To prevent dropped stitches from happening, any such locations will require a hand transfer to the opposite bed before dropping the remaining ribber bed shared stitches For my test I used EON needles on the ribber, planned alternating selection for each new transfer. This could be done by selecting dashes and blank spots on needle tape ie. dash in the above photo, blank spaces below  It was faster to achieve the effect by changing the ribber relationship to the main bed using racking by one position ie 10, 9, 10, 9, etc. prior to picking up the subsequent set of loops. The errors in the test swatch were from failing to bring all the needles back up to work after dropping their stitches. Using a tool ie. a ribber comb placed over the out-of-work needles prior to dropping stitches made the racking process far less error-prone,  will keep the appropriate needles from being accidentally taken out of work. My first attempt at creating shapes includes a band at the bottom where the EON transfers as above were made, but every row. Simply bringing needles into work on the opposite bed creates an eyelet. They can be eliminated by sharing stitch “bumps” on the opposite bed, but for the moment they are a design feature. The texture created appears in the areas involved on both sides of the knit It is possible to transfer single needles at sides of shapes ie or whole rows, but the change lever needs to be set to position accordingly.

Many knitters have one of these tools in their stash,  they are sometimes referred to as “jaws”,  intended to facilitate transferring between both beds, and patterning was intended for Studio punchcard machines. The enclosed punchcards: Shadow lace tools are marked side 1 and side 2. Some are blue on one side, cream or white on the other, the blue side is side 1. The process always begins with side 1, or blue. When the stitches have been removed, the jaws are closed, allowing the stitches to slide over to side 2. The jaws are once again opened, and the stitches are transferred to the opposite bed. Studio machines select and knit in single pass rows. Brother preselects for the next row of knitting while knitting any one row in pattern as well, so transferring in pattern from the top bed down with such a tool would be problematic to maintain proper pattern needle selection.
To transfer from the ribber up on any machine, place the teeth of the jaws on the needles on the ribber, holding it with both hands. Pull needles up until all stitches are behind the latches, then push down with another tool or one of your hands until all stitches are on the jaws.
Release the tool from the ribber needles, rotate it away from you, toward the main bed. Close its teeth so the stitches are transferred onto side 2.
Open teeth, place eyelets over main bed needles and stitches are transferred onto the main bed by rotating the tool away from you just a little and tugging down a bit.
On Brother, the possibility of having patterning on the top bed to help track patterning on the ribber in some way comes to mind. This was my start, with the first draft of electronic repeats. I stopped when I began to have some tension issues, loops on gate pegs, and a distracted brain.
Transfers of stitch groups, whether by hand or using the accessories are made on rows where no needle preselection occurs on the main bed This series is a proof of concept for my approach to developing electronic cuesThe original repeats were modified to include 2 blank rows between segments that allow for transfers between beds not hampered by needle preselection on the top bed. The motifs are color reversed, but not the blank rows between themThe knit carriage is set to select needles KC I or II, end needle selection does not matter. All needles on the top bed knit every stitch, every row, whether or not those design rows contain black pixels. No cam buttons are pushed in. Blank areas between black ones indicate the number of needles that actually need to pick up loops on the ribber to create shapes, filling in spaces between selected needles until an all-blank row is reached for making transfers. The chart on the far right illustrates a shape where the easiest method becomes one where stitches on the ribber are manually transferred to the top bed in order to reverse the shape and maintain every row preselection. The selected needle corresponding to the black square marked with the top of the red arrows is pushed back, the ribber stitch below is transferred onto it, the needle with the couples stitches is brought to E position, moving across the bed in proper locations prior to knitting the next row.  In this repeat, the side vertical panels of ribbed stitches are added. The knit stitches on each side of them roll nicely to the purl side, creating what in some fabrics can actually be planned as an edging. My takeaway is to test the accessory with some patience, sort out the sweet spot for the ribber needles in relation to main bed ones in terms of handling transfers and yarn thickness, use colors that allow for easy recognition of proper stitch formation, keep good notes, and “go for it”.

One way to add color to the mix is to use the plating feeder.

In the first sample, equal thickness yarns were used, the colored yarn was a rayon slub with no stretch and slippery nature. The bottom of this test used a wool yarn of equal weight to the light color, which proved hard to knit. The red is a 2/48 cash-wooll A very narrow test for a possible pleated pattern  

It is possible to construct the same type of fabrics on a striped background. It can be achieved low tech with graph paper and pencils if needed, using a simple paint program, Gimp alone, this is my process using Numbers and Gimp:
1. determine the desired shape, its width, and height, checking that it also tiles properly
2. create a table with square cells the same width as the number of stitches in your design, twice its height; use an even cell size ie 20X20 pt
3. hide all odd-numbered rows from the top of the table down, the table will shrink from 20 rows to 10
4. draw your repeat
5. unhide all rows
6. copy and paste the table; double the cell pt height only to 40, making the repeat twice as long
7. mark corners or part of the edges with another color to make it easier for Gimp to identify them, select all and remove borders, grab the image with an added surrounding colorless border
8. open the screengrab in Gimp, use crop to content, fill colored squares with white, change the mode to indexed BW, scale the result to the appropriate size, in this case, 18X40, export png Cast on for EN or EON rib. Transfer all the main bed stitches down to the ribber. Extra stitches can be cast on and transferred in addition to the planned width of the repeats to create a border on either side of the designs. During patterning there will be stitches in work on both beds at intervals, so the pitch needs to be set to H while knitting. When the top of the piece is reached, transfer all ribber stitches to the main bed and bind off.
The first preselection row is knit from right to left in the contrast ground color.
With COR bring all the needles to be worked in the pattern color to B position on the top bed.
The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions. End needle selection is canceled. The ribber remains set to N/N for the duration. Knit to the left and begin changing colors every 2 rows.
The shape increases are created automatically, with eyelets at the edges where each stitch is picked up for the first time on the top bed. COL when the first needle is preselected in this case for the start of the next shape, transfer all previously formed design stitches on the main bed down to the ribber, continue knitting If any stitches are pushed all the way back or in mixed alignment during transfers,  be sure to return them all to B position, not disturbing the needles already preselected for the next pattern row,  repeat as needed. Because one color knits with every carriage pass while the other slips behind it not knitting for those 2 rows, the striped background fabric will become distorted depending on yarn and stitch size used, most likely particularly noticeable at the top and bottom edges of the piece.

Pretend multi color ribs


A recent Ravelry post brought this topic to light. Using slip stitch settings makes the final fabric narrow and not stretchable. That said, there may be times when vertical columns of color would benefit the remaining design. This first experiment is on a Brother machine. The repeat used is for a simple 2X2 block It is programmed for 2 color knitting, set up for use with the ribber and color changer. The first KC row is from the right to the left, with color changes following every 2 rows. When the carriage is first on the left, the knit carriage is set to slip in both directions. In the tests the ribber is set to knit in both directions for the sample on the left, to slip to the left for the sample on the right. When the ribber is set to slip, the main bed only will knit in the corresponding direction, and floats will be created between selected needles on the main bed. The number of rows completed on the ribber are cut in half, the resulting knit fabric is more compressed, less elongated, and narrower A closer look The same repeat may be used to produce a tucked version. In many punchcard machines, a card is supplied with a 2X2 check. With the main color, in a suitable yarn, cast on for 1X1 rib. Set the knit carriage to tuck and the ribber carriage toknit. Knit 2 rows with the contrast color, followed by 2 rows with the main color, repeating for the desired length of the rib. Knit the last row in the main color with both carriages set to knit. Transfer the ribber stitches to the main bed to continue knitting single bed.

Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed

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

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


Mosaics and mazes charting meet Numbers, GIMP 3

If working in Numbers, the solution to doubling the height of the final repeat for mazes or mosaics may be achieved by simply doubling the height of each cell prior to screen grabbing the table and processing the resulting image in Gimp. Here the cells for a single repeat in the table on the left are copied, pasted, and altered from 20X20 pixels to 20X40Working in 1800 magnification, using rectangle select, every other pair of rows is chosen and then color inverted. B: the process continues for the height of the repeat. Until each new pair of rows is selected fully, the last color inverted pair is bordered in a dotted outline C, useful in tracking the last worked location. As the subsequent pair of rows is selected fully, the dotted border will disappear. The processed repeat  Its tiled visual check  Proof of concept: the bottom half is knit using the slip stitch setting, the top half in the tuck setting. The added texture on the tuck stitch purl side makes the fabric a more interesting, reversible one, and wider than its companion.  The mazes that are often seen in game-playing, puzzles, historical sources ie in Chinese design references, may not work out for knitting with this method, the result can be quite muddied.  I recently found a new to me online maze generator  Changing the pixel width by default also doubles the image in height, making smaller designs for knitting problematic  This was a quickly drawn maze using it, shown with its cropped repeat on the right, then tiled. Numbers processing to ready the repeat for final gimp editing: The repeat when tiled predicts muddied results which are noticeable in the knit swatch. Because of the side-by-side areas with multiple white cells, the slip setting is used, not tuck. The single slipped lengthened stitches do not produce an easily recognized secondary design on the knit side Getting back to clearer pattern results: when using electronics, it is possible to create far wider and taller repeats for download. The technique to achieve them uses the same process. A new working repeat: its tiled appearance  My starting table in numbers with hidden rows, beginning to isolate a smaller repeat the isolated repeat, double-length the color separation in progress
When knit, that white cell pair of rows break up the overall shapes and shifts the pattern in the top and bottom half When I tiled my next draft, I decided I preferred a cleaner join at the center The final adjusted repeat knit using the tuck stitch setting in both directions, KCI, first row left to right, leading with the dark color and here with the lighter color In progress, on the km the relaxed, 3D-ish view on the reverse why projects can take longer than planned The finished, relaxed scarf with pressed edges only, retaining the conical striped forms

Img2track_multiple colors per row dbj, each color knitting only once

I have recently shared a post on using the heartofPluto separation in Ayab to knit a DBJ 3 color sample where each color was not represented in each row, with each color knitting a single height.  Img2 track at this time does not offer a built-in similar option. There is a FB thread going on at the moment on this topic that can be followed there, Tanya Cunningham has shared a document on this topic. I am using the same repeat as in my Ayab tests,  with  my color changer in this threading sequence throughout
 The import into img2track shown here for the traditional 3 colors per row setup,
where normally each color in each design row knits twice. Because selection occurs for pairs of rows, the first preselection row is from right to left. To decrease the backing rows, the ribber is set for birdseye. I prefer to have an end needle on each end on the ribber, keeping in mind that the total number of needles in use there needs to be even. The machine provides reminders as to which color should be knitting. My samples are knit using KCI on the top bed. Because the preselection happens twice, it is easy enough to knit in pattern from left to right,  when the carriages have reached the right side, simply use a ribber comb to push all needles back to B. The next color to be used is preselected as the carriages travel back to the left, change color when on left, and repeat.
It is easy enough to develop a rhythm. I used to tell students some things are made easier if one develops a tune to play in one’s head as series of actions. Here I found myself thinking “knit to right, erase (selection), knit to left”. I had tension yarn issues on the right which explain some of the issues on the side edges and changed color 1 to blue for increased contrast. The proof of concept: Speeding things up with color separation, beginning with the method that will have each color, each design row knitting twice. The repeat is 10 rows high, so it is expanded X6 to 10 by 60 rows. In the final result, the second row for each color in the separation is in turn erased. The red was added to make all 3 colors visible while working the separation, avoiding confusion with the white ground. The knittable result as usual is in a black and white png The img2track settings are for now for 2 color knitting, the prompts for the color changes are lost.

The color-changing sequence used was still 1, 2, 3. The design with a birdseye backing The ribber can also be set to knit every row, resulting in elongation on the knit side, while creating an interesting striper backingComparing this version to the birdseye backed one for repeat height Comparisons: HoP, pushing back needles to B, and color separation results. In the latter, the design is likely elongated in part due to a change in the distribution of thinner yarns to larger design areas with no tension adjustments