Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 2

From Chris Burdge, a video tutorial on using HOP following program prompts and default color placement. The pattern used, available for download from the author, is quite different from my tests in that it is completely surrounded by a white border, the default first color choice in the separation The ABC color changer markings in letters reflecting yarn positions and color-changing sequences were used in the Studio brand, as opposed to numbers, in the reverse sequence, used in Brother. The Ayab lettering as opposed to numbers move from right to left. The manual states that the color separation order is: white C, grey B, black A with their sequence = C (3), B (2), A(1). If the prompts for changing colors as given are followed it provides a very valuable in tracking them,  but if out of habit one knits in the usual 1,2,3 sequence, the color placement occurs in an unexpected order and may result in errors. The on-screen letter prompt corresponding to the anticipated color change sometimes occurs with the knit carriage on the right, sometimes as it approaches the changer, and the size of the font was hard for me to see since the screen was not close enough for easy visibility.

It has been nearly a year since my last post, Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 1. I previously also shared information on using HOP for drop stitch lace.
Last week I tried a 3 color HOP pattern, which failed because my mid-tone grey was not within the proper palette range. I work on a Mac and found that with the latest Gimp update several details have changed, and formerly saved palettes were lost. Regrouping, working with colors, and intending color change selection sequences in the familiar right to left, 1, 2, 3 methods, this png includes the grey shade that worked for me If the png is copied from the post it is likely to appear in RGB mode and it will require conversion to 3 color bitmapped. Its grey color map entry is seen below The small file makes for a quick test of proper color selection for each of the three colors used It is not necessary to have images in greyscale to load them into Ayab for separation, but having the repeat shown that way can help with placement of the yarns in the changer.
I like to have as many factors predictable as possible prior to importing into download programs. Importing color images depends on the placement of individual colors in the palettes. An explanation found online is that Ayab needs a pattern image which is 8-bit greyscale. Each color is coded in a range of the 8-bit values. For 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color A; 64-127 color B; 128-195 color C; 196-255 color D. It seems to be OK to give the image some color, so long as the gray component of the colors divides up as given. I began to explore a pattern using 3 colors,  with one of the three colors absent in some rows Having some idea of stitch counts for each color in the design in the first few rows can help identify proper, planned color placement errors To achieve this an easy count of the blue and red can happen watching preselection on for the first couple of rows ie blue knits 4 stitches, while red has counts of 7 except at the sides My first swatch using the heart of Pluto separation and a greyscale motif  I like to work out color placement as well as repeat scaling adjustments if needed. This png in, indexed to 3 colors, was opened in Gimp, my primary design tool, and imported and saved as a palette A different color placement, using the saved pattern colors. With no white in the first couple of design rows, the lighter color is selected first. The actual 11 X 10 motif, can be opened in Ayab. Action R can repeat the image in height if desired, but a must is to repeat it in width that is equal to or greater than the number of needles in work on the needle bed, here it is repeated 3 times in both height and width
My tested color change sequence is #1, #2, #3 colors throughout, I disregarded the prompts for color changes at the bottom of the Ayab screen. Some things to ponder: in pieces that require color changes, starting with waste knitting in the same colors can help assess the best tension, whether each color will be picked up properly, and if the colors work well together. Looking at these 3 small tests, it appears that a choice should be made when casting on about using color 1 or 2 for the preselection and cast on rows.  If the setting to slip is forgotten for the first move to the left, the color in the feeder will knit every stitch rather than a pattern selection. Always check settings when on the right, making certain lili buttons are set as well. This pattern does not contain 3 colors on every row. In addition to that, when working  DBJ with other color separations one is likely used to seeing knit bed needle selections on every row. That is not true here, is a function of the technique, not a patterning error. On rows that have colors missing, when that color is in use, the main bed slips, the ribber works every other needle, first in one direction, then the other, adding to the row count on the purl side of the knit. In a test with marked color placement, the arrow marks the spot where 2 color threads were picked up together so that the white was carried across the row along with the green repeating the color placement test following 1/light, 2/medium, 3/darkThe mess at the bottom was due to the green yarn getting caught on the needle bed and not knitting the necessary stitches on the ribber, so dropped stitches were formed The assumption is that if the C, B, A rotation and prompts are to be followed, the middle color 2 can stay in place, and the placement of 1 and 3 can be exchanged.

Mosaic and maze inspiration from additional sources

Reviewing properties of both: maze patterns have long vertical and horizontal lines broken by regular gaps and the pattern lines change course from the vertical to horizontal, and vice versa. Maze cards can be identified by completely punched row segments, some alternating with every other square marked for two rows, usually geometrically shaped. Areas of stocking stitch produce horizontal colored stripes, and alternating pattern stitches that slip or tuck cause the vertical stripes, which are sometimes pulled nearly diagonal by the influence of tuck or slip. The fabric will be unbalanced because the number of needles slipping or tucking will not be the same on every row. Odd rows usually form 2 color horizontal stripes, even rows vertical stripes, with color changes occurring every 2 rows.
Mosaics have a brick arrangement (tessellae), with clear perimeters and cores, and stepped diagonals (frets) that are partially formed bricks, their positive and negative spaces are created by the use of contrasting colors. The stripe sequence is not as obvious. The punchcard does not resemble the original design.
In single bed work, the reverse of the fabric will show the original design in the texture of its slip or tuck stitches. There usually will be no floats longer than one or two stitches.
The knit side may look like a fair isle but the back lacks any long floats, hence the name “float-less fair isle”
The row gauge is compressed. Tuck fabrics are short and wide, slip ones tend to be short and thin. Some patterns elongate in washing. The tension used is usually one number higher or more than that used for stocking stitch for slip patterns to reduce their narrowing. Tuck knitting may need adjustments to lower tensions. Smooth yarns in contrasting colors are the easiest to establish an easily recognized test pattern, the choices that follow may then be far more personal.

After a while repeat units begin to become familiar. Pondering possibilities: Here the design knit as a fair-isle pattern would produce long floats, going through the steps of converting it for “floatless fair isle” proves of no benefit.

I previously wrote about the use of weaving
drafts as inspiration for other textile techniques, ie. knitting.
Endless published drafts may be found online or in books that might be interpreted for use with mosaic/maze single bed knitting. Having electronic machines available lifts restrictions in pattern width, while repeats too large for narrow items such as scarves may become useful for shawls or blankets. One such repeat,  with .pngs shown for both single and double-height:

This repeat is 36X36 before being lenthened X2 

A different sort of challenge was posed by this 18X18 image with a row shift in areas with a large number of both filled-in or blank squares. As one moves up its magnified version in Gimp it becomes apparent that a row will have a very long float in one of the two colors. One option is to skip that row, resulting in the green gridded repeats for the converted motif both shown both for single and double length. The result in the knitting test swatch produces an unplanned color shift which could be declared to be a design feature, or one can continue with editing the inspiration source. Repeating the separation process with a new graph produces a workable cousin to the original Generally when creating these patterns on Brother machines, patterning selection varies for each pairs of rows. I got distracted while making the above swatch by a phone call, got to the point where there is a very obvious solid black all knit row in the repeat, but “forgot” its presence. I assumed I was having a selection or a carriage issue and scrapped the knitting off. Note to self: “remember to always check the programmed design before you do that again in the future”.

 

 

Mosaics, mazes, and DBJ charting meet Numbers, GIMP 2

I shared some working methods to achieve these color separations in 2019/06/29/mosaics-and-maze…numbers-and-gimp/. Mosaics and Mazes came on my radar once more recently, Numbers and Gimp have both been updated, and a few more ideas have occurred to me for managing the necessary color separations. The process as described here assumes that there already is some understanding of Gimp’s and a spreadsheet’s basic functions. These are 2 more samples from Barbara Walker’s book on mosaics, offering the repeats in both a 16 stitch wide and a 24 stitch versions. It is always a good idea after isolating the repeat to tile it in order to get a sense of how multiples line upI was lazy about doing that with the first version of the colored repeat in Numbers and got the result in this swatch  due to a missing black cellThe second try
Beginning with the long method to create the design repeat in the color separation suitable for elongated dbj: the built-in color separation in most Japanese machines for DBJ (179 and color reverse in Passap) will knit each color in each design row only once, as happens on the single bed in knitting fair isle, which in turn is far quicker to knit in that setting than by using slip stitch with color changes every 2 rows. The first preselection row is from the left to the right, the first color knits once before colors are changed every 2 rows.
The dbj color separation that knits in each color for each design row twice begins with preselection from the right and continues with color-changing every 2 rows. The produced image will be twice as long as the original design, not desirable for keeping the aspect ratio as close to the original as possible, but a necessity in creating some alternative types of fabrics.
To start, create a table, making certain that cells are square, equal in size in height, and width. I prefer 20 X20 or more when working with small repeats. The zoom factor can be adjusted, increased for more visibility, and reduced prior to screen grabs that are planned to be further processed in Gimp. At less than 75% while creating charts, adding numbers or text, and sometimes changing the qualities of individual cells is harder to achieve. Large-size images may be scrolled through during the formatting process The working design repeat is 16X16. Create a new table that is 16 cells wide, twice its height, 32.  While holding down the command key, select all the odd-numbered rows planned for the final chart repeat, any errors can be corrected by clicking again on the same spot, still holding the key down. The process may be done in steps, releasing the key in between selecting groups  Choose the hide rows option, hiding 16 rows, Fill in cells the chosen 2 colors Add a column to the table. It will be colored, select the column and choose the no color fill option for it, then resize far wider by clicking and dragging the symbol 
at the upper table right to allow for copying and pasting the full repeat more than once.
Select the chosen repeat in 2 colors, copy and paste it to its right. The rows are re-numbered in the new “chart” thus providing a new set of even/odd-numbered rows. On the new odd-numbered rows, select by holding the command key, choose black squares on each now odd-numbered row, and used no color cell fill option to render them white. Release the key at any point to work on gradually selected groups of cells.  If there is an error, while still holding the command key click on the individual cell or cell group again to erase the action, continue the process. Again, holding the command key selectively, on even-numbered rows add colored cells immediately above any empty cells in the row below.  It could be done all in black, but for me, that becomes difficult to keep accurate when separating large repeats. With some familiarity with spreadsheet creation, this can be fairly quick work. Copy and paste the table content once more. In the new table holding down the command key, on even-numbered rows change colored squares to black resulting in the repeat on the far right. The latter in turn will need to be doubled in height once more prior to knitting the final fabric, whether in the software or by the machine in the downloaded design To produce the .bmp file: copy and paste only the BW portion of the above table once more. Using the cell format option, remove all interior borders,  and if you prefer an outside guide, add an exterior border try zoom at 75% zoom, screengrab the table content, with an added blank border surrounding it, import the result into Gimp. Choose crop to content, that will eliminate the extra white space around the image The final image needs to be double-height, so using the scale option choose image scale to 16 by 64 using the broken chain link prior to entering your numbers. These were my steps in scaling, I always check one more time for image size prior to saving. That is reflected in the last pair of numbers, with the now intact chain link symbol

When I first used Gimp I devised and explained this method for mosaic color separations in prior posts.  The expectation in working with such repeats is that on any rows there will be no more than 2 white squares marked side by side. On odd-numbered rows in the separation, the contrasting color squares slip, while on even-numbered rows the black squares slip. On odd-numbered rows, the main color (black squares) knits, on even-numbered rows the contrast color knits.
I think of row one/ odd rows as needing to knit black squares, row 2, and even rows having to knit white squares rather than marking in the traditional manner for slipped stitches on each row. I now have found a far quicker alternative to color separate for mosaic knitting using only GimpWorking on the black and white indexed repeat, use a magnification of at least 1800X. Using the rectangle select tool choose every other row beginning with the second one in the chart. That row will be highlighted by a white dotted line. Choosing will swap black and white cells in that row. Continue the process on every other row. It is not necessary to select the tool each time, as you advance and select the next row, the one just left remains briefly outlined in white dashes, making it easier to advance correctly in the design.
Import the black and white table, process as described, scaling for my final image to 16X32: This repeat posed by a quandary. The file may be used as-is and doubled in length after download.
Because of my personal preference for not using elongation when knitting pieces in these techniques, I tested doubling height in Gimp with no success at all. However, I was successful in doing so using 2 paint programs, both available for free download for Mac. The first has an amazing range of features, including the illustrated resizing options https://www.arahne.si/products/arahpaint/

and https://paintbrush.sourceforge.io/downloads/, which allows for scaling by percentages or pixels Comparing the results for the elongated repeat, errors in the first are obvious, there should be no white squares anywhere repeating for more than 2 rows Proof of concept A review of a design from 2012/10/15/mosaics-and-mazes-from-design-to-pattern/, separated this new way the repeat charted in Numbers tiled for repeat alignment check The repeat was color separated working in indexed black and white and shown compared with the punchcardwill result in missing colored squares in the final fabric, which may not be noticed until after eyeballs have had a rest. Here the final .bmp  repeat is also compared with the color image in the previous post It will need to be doubled in length for use with the color changer, the first preselection row is from right to left. End needle selection will ensure that each color knits the first and last needle on each side of the piece.

Another very quickly separated repeat copied from 2015/10/03/working-with-generated-mazes-charting-1/

adapted for maze knitting, eliminating long floats, to be lengthened to double-height drawn double-height via a paint program Because there are no more than 2 white squares on top of each other, and no two side by side, I tested the pattern in tuck stitch, which produced some added texture. I had a major aargh moment with yarn where dropped stitches are seen at the top of the swatch Using the maze generator by Laura Kogler, the larger BMP newly created with the program was imported into Gimp, explored in two renditions, eliminating double lines in the one on the right The proof of concept swatch for the version on the right, knit in tuck stitch the double-length BMP ready for knitting,  14X68

Designing your own motifs in expanded graphs: start with a template for either of the 2 grids shown below,  and fill cells in or remove them. Remember these charts, unless knitted as machine or software separated dbj, will require a careful color separation.  Beginning ideas for motifs, borders, and alphabets

A collection of previous posts on this topic in reverse chronological order
2019/06/29/mosaics-and-maze…numbers-and-gimp/
2015/10/21/working-with-gen…-gimp-charting-2/
2015/10/03/working-with-gen…mazes-charting-1/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2013/05/06/mosaics-and-mazes-drawing-motifs/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2012/09/22/mosaic-and-maze-…-on-the-machines/

Single bed tuck/ mostly slip stitch fabrics 3

As with the tuck stitch, the knit carriage ignores the needles that are not selected in the pattern. All holes in a punchcard, black squares, or black pixels in electronic programming knit. A great deal of dimensionality may be achieved since the tuck restriction of the maximum amount of yarn being held in the hooks of the nonselected needles does not apply. The effects on the width and length of the fabric vary depending on the number of needles ignored in the pattern. If slipping in long vertical areas, the yarn that is held in the non selected stitch(es) needs to be held for that long without breaking. Multiple colors per row patterns may in some cases require specific color separations, but as usual, a good place to start is with published patterns.

Stitch formation: the needle that is not worked holds a stitch that gets longer until that spot on the needle bed is selected again, resulting in a knit stitch being formed in that location with the next carriage pass. Floats are formed between knit stitches as the held stitches are skipped. The height and width of the bars created by unpunched squares or white squares or pixels need not be fixed and may be extended in both height and width, breaking tuck rules. Many patterns are impactful both with the use of single-color yarns or with color changes. With color changes, the elongated stitch carries its color up in that location on the knit side until it gets knit off (not always or necessarily in the same color).
Here stitches are held for 4 rows,  a planned color change on the next row would require needles that had been skipped, marked in red, being pre-selected forward for knitting back toward the color changer and returning to the previous or next planned color selection In textured knitting, fiber choice can be significant. It is best to use a yarn with some memory, such as wool. If yarns such as acrylics or rayons are used and in turn are pressed the fabric may become permanently flattened, which is not desirable unless it is a purposeful design choice.
Depending on the KM brand, the space between slipped repeats may be altered. In some cases, no matter what the programming method, and especially when using multiple colors, the length of the required repeats may grow exponentially no matter what machine is being used.

It is possible to use slip stitch in only one direction to create knitted cords, often referred to as i-cords. The technique is sometimes the introduction to using the stitch type. Used for all over patterning the possibilities for textures and 3D effects and shaping are endless.
Slip stitch patterns tighten the work widthwise, as well as shorten it in length. To achieve more drape in the resulting knit use a tension dial number 2 higher than that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn.
To retain a flatter fabric shape off the machine it may be best to slip no more than 2 side by side stitches. The number of rows for which stitches are slipped contributes to density. Some of the single bed patterns may be used double-bed as well, but the discussion here is for single bed patterning.
Some repeat ideas for working with diagonals from a punchcard reference, and one from the factory basic pack supplied with machines: Remember that punchcards knit the image as viewed on the purl side of the fabric, so to match swatch photos given in published pattern books, the same repeat, unless it is perfectly symmetrical,  will usually need to be mirrored horizontally for use in electronic machines.
Similar shapes to the above, arranged differently: in A,  arrows point to punched holes that create a vertical line containing 2 slipped rows followed by 2 knit ones, B is problematic because the long vertical white lines would mean the stitches corresponding to those locations on the needle bed would slip for the height of the punchcard, C is B color reversed to solve the problem, and suitable for slip-stitch knitting. An alternative for using B as is would be to have needles not selected in those all blank locations out of work on the main bed creating ladders (or transferred down to and in use on the ribber). As in any pattern knitting, if needles on the top bed are out of work, end needle selection must be canceled. If it is not, the needles adjacent to out of work needles will knit on every row, altering the planned pattern.
The same shapes can be edited for use after rotating the original The 24 stitch repeat for the bottom option is shown, punchcard knitters would have to punch the height x4. The minimum electronic repeat highlighted with a red border tiling to check the alignment of the 8X10 repeatMore repeats using similar lines, varying in density and consequently in their height:  all knit rows (no white squares) make for easy to recognize color change possibilities and transitions other possibilities using checks rather than solid lines When evaluating published repeats, keep in mind the basics; these are suitable for electronic KMs that will allow for color reverse punchcard knitters would have to punch white squares, resulting in this arrangement The knit side is not necessarily always interesting. With knit stripes in a different color breaking up the textured segments a secondary pattern will begin to emerge. A closer look at the samples below reveals one repeat is actually the other, drawn double length. This is an easy option, even in punchcard machines. When knitting long pieces especially, however, I prefer not to use double length built-in features, finding it easier to sort out where I am in terms of design rowss if errors occur

Returning to a couple of the tuck stitch illustrations, adjusting the repeats for use with the slip stitch setting. Some of the color change sequences are suggested on the right side of the charts The tuck stitch version,
modifying it for use in slip stitch B, adding all knit rows between repeats A, and visualizing color placements on the knit side of the fabric.   Depending on your machine ie Passap Duo requires 40 stitches punched repeats or modifying for electronics, vertical black columns or additional white squares may be added to the original design repeat units. The corresponding cells are filled with the color gray Testing the waters: a swatch using 4 colors,  beginning with color changes every 6 rows, ending at the top with every 2, more variations are possible.I have begun including .pngs with some of my posts. Check that your import method does not automatically change the mode to RGB. It is a common problem with such grabs from FB. If that happens, index the image to B/W and save again before using it in download to KM software.
Making those shapes move: color striping variations for using 3 or 2 colors are seen on the right of the chart. The final surface may also work very well in a single color The resulting swatch is shown sideways for the sake of space. I usually begin tests with some striped knitting so I can be certain the color changer is threaded properly, that each color gets picked up without crossing or other issues and that tension for any one color is not in conflict with that used with remaining colors. I am not a fan of the Brother single bed color changer, but it is a great convenience in fabrics such as these. A reminder when using it: add a lace extension rail on the left side. The carriage needs to clear the color changer far enough on its left for all colors to be picked up and changed properly From long design studio inspiration swatches: the secondary shapes are created by varying the number of rows in the color change rotation and placement, the bottom swatch shows the purl side of part of the completed length. Float counts can help duplicate the repeat or color placements if notes are skipped during knitting. Working with multiple slip stitch “bars”: this shows my punchcard, marked with color changes once the final rotation was decided, remembering to begin markings 7 rows up from the bottom for Brother (5 for Studio).  This design produces a fabric that is fairly flat on both sides: the .png is in the same orientation as the punchcard repeat, which you can see is produced with shapes reversed on the knit side in the swatches below it. Instructions on how the repeat was converted to .bmp for download using Gimp in post The working chart, along with an effort to visualize the location of possible color changes in order to create secondary patterns. Color changing on  “wrong rows” or starting preselection from the left rather than the right will result in random, not necessarily successful designs  This swatch segment illustrates the possibility of removing the slipped stitches from the needle bed and bringing them to the purl side, rehanging them on the same needles, bringing all needles out to hold before executing the next all knit row. The “floats” at the bottom of the swatch are from threads that were missed and not brought to the back of the slipped stitches

Attempting to visualize color changes using a larger, staggered repeat which makes more sense when the image is tiled Reducing the number of slipped rows reducing columns to produce a trim, being certain as to placement on the needle bed 

This repeat produces a ruched fabric when no all knit rows are included, and a sort of “honeycomb” effect when additional color changes on all knit rows are added. The first long swatch The working repeat does not need to be symmetrical, using space-dyed yarn may result in a surface with an unrecognizable texture 

Shifting slip stitch units to form shapes If the slip stitch units begin and end with the same color knitting just before them and immediately after, the color carried on the knit side will be consistent throughout. A sure way to get the shapes to match your design is to assign a number matching the number sequence in the color changer for your machine to each of the yarn colors. Imagining the results in a spreadsheet or even graph paper Expanding each section to 8 rows, the repeat now becomes 64 rows high and allows for 3 colors to show behind the slipped stitches in the chart on the left.  On the right, the color-changing order shifts to 6 rows at a time in the sequence 1,2,3,2,1,2,3. Design row 1 would begin the piece using the color red, the last row in the repeat is blue, shifting the color then carried up the front of the piece to blue

Once the basics are understood, changes in scale and amount of ruched textures along with fiber content are easier to execute The chart for the sample below is 30 stitches wide by 84 rows high, is shown turned counterclockwise This fabric has a more compressed shape, the blocks of slipped stitches are in a vertical arrangement directly above each other. A possible building unit for similar structures:  An all knit border on either edge will automatically create a ruffle on each side.

Here the repeats on the left need to be color reversed prior to knitting, punchcard users will need to punch all white squares, leave the black ones unpunched, and repeat all once more in height. On the right, some rows are omitted, reversing the color placement for the “solid” shapes with the next knit row. 

Blocks of slipped stitches (black squares in the chart, prior to color reverse) may be used to create 2 color fabrics that have no long floats in the ground color, electronics allow for more complicated shapes

If the goal is to produce specific shapes, then the way to achieve them is to use a color separation suitable for multiple color DBJ, knitting the fabric either on the single bed. The machine does not know whether the ribber is actually in use or not. Using DBJ software build in options or even the Ayab middle color one twice merit their own future post.

Previous slip stitch-related posts
2015/04/07/more-slip-stitch-experiments/
2013/09/02/a-random-slip-stitch/
2013/05/09/block-slip-stitch-separations/

For mosaic and mazes, execution and design links to historical posts see 2020/09/21/single-bed-tuck-…s-2-adding-color/

The slip stitch setting may also be used to automate a variety of fabrics, some of which involve organized color striping as well,  the topic is discussed in other blog posts

Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 2: adding color

Any tuck repeat may be used in the slip stitch setting. The results for “safe” repeats executed in slip stitch may not be very textural or dramatic.
Though at times presented in color, the same patterns can be very effective in single colors as well.
Prior to testing multicolor patterns, I like to start the work with waste yarn, testing color changes there first, making certain colors are threaded properly, not crossed, and that the color changer is set up properly.
The Brother single bed color changer is unique, in that the yarn remains in the changer, not leaving it with each color change; its manual 
In the absence of a single bed changer, some fabrics may be knit with the ribber up, using the double bed model. This is the only option available for the bulky machine. There is a limit as to the amount of tucking that can be achieved successfully since the ribber arm does not have the system of wheels and brushes that help keep loops and stitches in place single bed.  Manuals

Instructions from the Brother single bed color changer manual 

For Studio/ Silver Reed

Punchcard volume collections are a great place to start to search for published repeats and subsequent DIY inspiration.
One such is Brother volume 5  Since the knit carriage needs to move to and from the left-hand side of the machine with each color change, an even number of rows in each repeating segment is recommended, but not necessarily required. The first preselection row is generally moving from right to left. End needle selection on helps the edge stitches knit. At times end needles will need to be pushed forward to knitting position by hand. Depending on how the repeat is placed on the needle bed, with some experience with a tuck or slip stitch, one can decide whether keeping the end stitches in the pattern creates a better effect at vertical edges. Analyzing 2 random repeats The respective .bmpsAs with all punchcards, the first and last 2 pairs or rows are not part of the design, they are necessary for the punchcard to roll continuously in the drum. Keep in mind that the card is reading design row one while your eye sees the row marked #1 by the factory on the card outside of the machine. Following the suggested color changes to match the specific swatch takes the guesswork out of the equation. In DIY or in trying a different color sequence, such guides may have to be shifted and marked accordingly. Specific color suggestions are given in the samples above in the left-hand columns. In #327 the order is in a variable sequence, which requires a bit more attention than #328. Follow the line below the #1 mark to the left, each card begins with color 1. Color notations in 328 are also next to those 2 all punched rows at the top. That is because those 2 rows overlap the first 2 design rows as the ends of the card are clipped together, front over back, for smooth, continuous, advancing movement. In 327 the sequence at the bottom would need to be hand-marked.
Before tackling patterns with moving components, these charts begin to analyze color changes in a ready punched or self-designed card which produces a honeycomb-like effect. The chart colors used are random picks from the palette, for illustration purposes only, illustrating areas where color changes may occur. The tuck/slip stitch held in the hook of non selected needles gets elongated and comes forward on the knit side, creating vertical lines in the color that is not knitting. The blue highlights the row where a single stitch, single row tuck or slipped stitch is created and the corresponding positions of the yarn on the knit side of the fabric Four tucked rows is probably the limit on Brother machines unless one is working in fine yarns. In the first interpretation, the ground knits for 2 rows on all preselected needles. In the second, the surrounds of the interior striping knit for single rows only at the top and bottom of the repeat. Electronic repeats A and B on the right may be as small as a single 4X12 unit.

The same card may be used, altering the color-changing sequence so the ground that will surround the tuck or slipped stitches changes as well. Using the same card would require a pattern start on card marking row 2, and an initial preselection row from the left to the right Keeping the 4 tuck row maximum the blocks of knit stitches between tucks can be varied, as can the movement of the vertical bars. The card repeat on the left would preselect from the right, while the repeat on the right would preselect from the left. So the card on the right is already punched, and instead of changing the colors outlining the shapes, one wants them constant and with a start from the right? The workaround is to advance the card to the last row in the full repeat, #36, lock the card, and preselect toward the color changer continuing to change colors in 2 then 4-row rotations after releasing the card. Tiling the repeats multiple times as with any pattern helps isolate areas where color changes might work as well as give us a sense of pattern movement across the fabric. With so many tucked rows so close to each other, it is best to use thin yarn. For slightly thicker yarn, one possible “fix” might be to simply eliminate one of the 3 tuck bars across the repeat, again check tiling for any errors, or places for color changes. Here the shift is not completed, some tuck bars were not eliminated the “corrected” repeat without additional rows, some possible color changes can follow the colored chart suggestions Moving on to electronics, playing with symmetry the repeat now becomes 30 stitches wide, the tiled image check for the unaltered version on the left.  The repeated adjusted two different ways in height to accommodate color changes in a few different spots Working with repeats with tuck or slip bars that are only 2 rows high make for easier use of a range of yarn thicknesses. There are some surprises to be found when color changes are made as often as every 2 rows, sometimes using up to 4 colors. The extra all knit rows may be eliminated altogether.
Beginning with a pattern that has large areas of black squares can help one understand what happens to the design as that knit ground takes on color striping in the same frequency as the color changes. The yarn used here is a 3/8 wool, making the fabric a bit stiff. The repeat is a larger cousin of card #327. Before the days of software tiling methods, on way to check repeats was to knit them up as Fair Isle. The large floats in this made it not its best use, the floats were sometimes caught with the companion color or looped. Had the long floats been consistently free, they could have been cut for a fringed look on the purl side and would have held in place well. Tuck knit in a solid color Slip stitch in all variations has purl side edges which curl to a greater degree, the short skipped areas were probably due to too tight tension of too quick a carriage pass to the opposite side tuck alternating two colors every 2 rows slip stitch  2 color variation slip stitch with the addition of a third color in the rotation Some patterns using color rotations every two rows are referred to as mosaics, mazes, or floatless fair isle. They can be deliberately designed, but there are treasure troves of working repeats in punchcard pattern books that produce visual cousins and may also knit up as lovely fabric in single colors, and wonderful surprises at times when one designed for single color is striped. A few to try that are pictured with corresponding swatches shown on the knit side:  from volume 5, the grey cells indicate the page numbers that correspond to the thumbnails in the downloadable version from Stitchworld, I have included repeat sizes, grey highlighted ones are suitable for use in punchcard as given Brother yarn changers are numbered, from right to left, and their published card designs color suggestions reflect that. The lace extension rail must be used as the knit carriage needs to clear the color changer on that side in order for the colors to change properly.  The Studio color changer color positions are marked with letters of the alphabet from left to right Some of the Studio punchcard pattern books showed both sides of the expected fabric assi\ociated with each card, here is a repeat that breaks the tuck rule of no more than one blank square side by side in any row.
This swatch pattern from a Japanese magazine illustrates the difference in the formation of the tucked loops when two blank squares exist side by side. The repeat is 10X22, colors are assigned letters rather than numbers here as well Another rule breaker: odd numbers of tucked rows with no added all knit rows. Experimenting with such repeats results in less organized all-over patterns, here colors are changed every 2 rows, every 4 rows A single knit row may be added, for an added variation with color changes every 4 rows These repeats take shapes in another direction which becomes more textural and interesting when blank stitch areas are expanded for use in slip stitch setting This pattern, with color changes every 2 rows and two-row tuck sequences has an assumed interesting pattern shift.  The tiled X2 horizontal repeats lined up side by side show that extra knit stitches have been added, shifting tuck stitch rows by one stitch in alternating directions, but just because it is published, it does not necessarily make the repeat correct. Those striped areas can only occur if there are solid all punched areas.  Keeping the constraints of a 24 stitch repeat, reducing the width of segments to 12 stitches rather than 24, the original repeat as amended The tiled results for each24X56 repeat proof of concept swatch in a far thinner yarn than the book photo An approach to designing such patterns can begin with a template for color changing every 2 rows and taking colored squares away to indicate stitches that will be slipped or tucked. Repeats can be adjusted from wider electronic ones to the 24 stitch width constraint for punchcard machines, as well as shifted to change the resulting shapes and their colors on the knit side. The two-dimensional charts are not capable of reflecting the amount of gathering of the fabrics or distortions of the stripes on the completed knit Japanese magazine publications often recommended many color changes, each for varied numbers of rows. Sometimes more is less. The number of colors may be reduced, and changing the numbers of rows used for each color as well can expand the number of fabrics produced from a single repeat. Good note keeping is a necessity if the intent is to easily reproduce the fabric at a later time.
Mixing things up for vertical designs:  Adapting punchcard designs for use in electronics becomes easier once one is familiar with the stitch structure. This is a cousin of 328, 13 stitches X 52 rows. Tiling as in all designs helps sort out errors or missing pixels. The “corrected” pattern, with the accompanying test swatches, the first knit in tuck stitch changing colors every 4 rows and slip stitch changing colors alternately every 2 rows, then every 4: My blog posts on working with and designing mosaics (suitable for tuck and slip) and mazes (slip stitch only, multiple side by side unpunched holes or white squares in any row), in reverse historical order
2019/06/29/mosaics-and-maze…numbers-and-gimp/
2015/10/21/working-with-gen…-gimp-charting-2/
2015/10/03/working-with-gen…mazes-charting-1/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2013/05/06/mosaics-and-mazes-drawing-motifs/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2012/09/22/mosaic-and-maze-…-on-the-machines/

Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 1

The main difference between the 2 stitch types is that in tuck stitch the strand of yarn on the non selected needle is held in the hook of the needle forming a loop, while in slip stitch the strand of yarn bypasses the non selected needles as the row is knit, forming floats between stitches Symbols commonly used for bothIn both instances the stitch on non selected needles when the pattern begins (blue row in photo) is held in that needle hook, growing in length until that same needle is selected, and with the next row of knitting (red) one returns to the standard knit stitch formation.
Both distort the fabric, the tuck stitch widens and shortens it, while the slip stitch narrows and also shortens it. Both are capable of producing textured, interesting fabrics on only one or on both sides of the knit depending on the pattern’s design repeats. Which side is chosen as the public side is simply a matter of preference. In accessories and clothing, the interplay and “reversible” effects can provide added interest.
Because in tuck knitting the stitches are being held and gathered, more rows will be required to produce the desired length in pieces. Because the knit gets stretched sideways fewer stitches will be required to achieve the wanted width, making it suitable where larger garment pieces are planned. Looking at the stitch in a 2D diagram: A– loops are created for 2 rows, the original stitch is shown elongated. Each patterning needle hook now holds 3 yarn ends. B– the needle coming forward prior to the next pass whether by card reader selection or by hand, will knit on the next carriage pass to the opposite side. C– the originally held stitch as it might appear on the knit side

The group of loops as they knit together then forms small lumps/ bumps, or what I think of as “butterflies”.

The capacity of the needle hooks in terms of the number of loops they can hold and the quality and thickness of the yarn used place quick limitations of the number of rows one may use for tuck patterning. The Passap system tolerates many more such rows than the Japanese model machines, where the limit is often 4 rows. Slip-stitch is far more flexible in terms of applied “rules”.
Brother controls for patterning in any model are by the selection of cam buttons that offer directional arrows on the carriage Some of the options:    and not often used, but worth exploring, the use of opposing tuck and slip buttons at the same time. As with any knitting, for needle selection to occur the knit carriage (also known as KC) needs to engage the belt using the change knob set to KC. End needle selection or not depends on the goal fabric. If KC is in use but no cam buttons are pushed in, there will be needle selection, but the fabric produced will remain stocking stitch.
Any tuck cards may be used in the slip setting, but the reverse is not true.
Functions are in the directions of the arrows. For example, if a left button is pushed in, the next carriage pass will form loops or skipped stitches while traveling from right to left on the non preselected needles, and knit stitches on all needles on the return pass to the right, aside from any preselection being present. If both buttons are pushed in, the knit will form loops or skipped stitches with each carriage pass on non selected needles until those needle positions are pre-selected again, and then the stitches held in the hooks of the needles will knit with the next carriage pass.
It is possible to create the stitch structure on any machine, including manually by pulling selective needles out to hold for X number of rows. Motifs may be short or long, all over or isolated, can be arranged vertically, horizontally, diagonally, in diamond, basketweave, and plaid effects, may be combined with the use of stitches on the opposite bed, and with needles out of work (OOW) on either or both beds.
Punchcards are restricted to a maximum of 24 stitches or factors of 24 in the width of the repeats and require a minimum of 36 rows if they are to be used in continuous patterning. In electronics, the basic rules should be followed, but a single small repeat is enough to program, the size of large non-repetitive ones is limited only by machine memory and mode of download.
Both fabrics like to be weighted evenly, and several rows of waste yarn should be used at the start of the piece prior to testing patterns. Because it will be wide or narrow and short, that is a consideration if the plan is to combine several types of stitches in the same garment. Gauge swatches should be larger than usual.

Boiling things down to black and white: in both tuck and slip automatic patterning, selected needles produce knit stitches. Punchcard knitters are required to punch a hole for every knit stitch, leaving only areas that will be forming the tuck loops or skip stitch floats blank on the card. In a published chart for the stitch is used, black squares may be used to represent knit stitches and rows, white ones the tuck or slip stitch locations. It is up to the user to determine whether if using a published source, color reversing the repeat in electronics, or punching out the all-white areas as opposed to black is required. In single bed stitch formation, if one knits with two or more empty needles in work side by side, it will quickly become evident stitches will not form properly on those needles without additional steps being taken. This remains true in tuck knitting, but not in slip stitches. Though there are some exceptions, the usual rule is to have no more than one unit in any row without a punched hole or black square/pixel on either side of it. Punchcard pattern books are a great source of “safe” repeats. Electronic users need to isolate and draw a minimum of one repeat, which may be quite small. If duplicating a whole card with fewer unpunched holes than punched ones, only the white squares need to be drawn as black, and later the repeat is color reversed. Punchcard patterns usually have two rows of all punched holes at the top and bottom of the card that will rest on the first and last 2 rows of the design repeat respectively, allowing for the card to roll continuously in its reader. Cards also need a recommended minimum of 36 rows. Brother #1 mark on the right is 7 rows up from the bottom, while the card reader is reading design row one inside the machine, out of view. Cards from other KM manufacturers may be used, but the starting row may differ, as was also true back in mylar days. Punchcard machines produce the pattern as drawn on the purl side. Some electronic models or download programs vary, may require the pattern to be flipped horizontally.

An easy way to start becoming familiar with the knit structure of stitches is to begin by working with “safe” design repeats, using a familiar yarn in a light color. Depending on the punchcard machine model year, the card on the left (1) was a standard Brother issue, the one on the right (2) not always. Both may be used to test all cam buttons and stitch types, card one tolerates elongation well, card 2 may meet some resistance with tuck stitch if the yarn is thicker than the needle hooks will contain easily. Converting the cards to black and white pixels: the small single repeats for each card are highlighted with a red border. Depending on the method for programming the electronic machine, however, the single repeat may have to be repeated horizontally to match the number of stitches to be used in the piece. The third repeat is a hybrid of the previous 2, the start of making what is published more personal Studying published sources makes it easier to design more personal repeats. Cards that are “safe to use” can get one started in examining the texture and developing an understanding of how stitches are formed. They are often composed of variations of either card 1 or card 2 with added black areas. Using punchcards supplied in the packs with respective machine models appropriately can easily be done Additional published cards are also easily found increasing the number of tucked rows and observing the rule of knit stitches on both sides of the single unpunched squares resulting in no preselection.  Below, some of the single repeats are outlined in red. With additional rows now tucking, the added insurance of having them knit off properly at regular intervals is achieved by all punched (or black squares) single rows, highlighted with orange squares on their left. The black border isolates the actual patterning rows in the designs. Again, the top and bottom pairs of all punched rows are not part of the overall design but are necessary for the punchcard machines to line up patterning for knitting a continuous design The blank vertical areas may be arranged moving across the repeat’s canvas in a variety of ways. In this chart the tuck symbol is evident, some of the knit stitches around each tuck series are highlighted at the bottom of the chart in green, the single electronic possible repeat is 4 sts by 12 rows What may be confusing when symbols and charts such as the above are encountered is that the very first row of the symbol actually rests on the spot where the knit stitch that is being held for the next 3 rows rests, so design row 1, 5, 6, 13, etc are actually all knit. The punchcard minus the all punched rows at its top and bottom:  The factory-supplied blank cards may have arrows on the left, familiar in lace card designs. In the above case, the implied use is that the card start in the locked position on row 1 with the carriage on the right, preselecting to the left. If only a single color is to be used starting side does not matter. If regular color changes are recommended, more often than arrows dots, or color numbers are used in that column to indicate color change locations.  In Brother machines, the first preselection row may be made from either left to right or right to left, depending on the fabric being created. With the exception of dbj using the KRC button or patterns that expressly specify the starting side, most patterns using the color changer will need a start from the right. Here if that is done, color changes could occur every 4, 8, or 12 rows using 2 or even 3 color sequences.
There is another issue to note. Counting up design rows from the bottom the card is marked row 1 five rows up. This is a Studio punchcard. If using it on a Brother machine, the starting row would actually occur with the card locked on row 3, color change row markings if given, would have to be altered accordingly.
Distribution of tuck stitches can occur in groups, or more sparsely. The card on the right begins to break the rules with 2 needles tucking side by side for 3 rows. Those areas create floats akin to those created by slip stitches as the side by side loops drop off the needles in those areas rather than knitting off together. As areas of white become less balanced, punchcard knitters may find it easier to mark the tuck bars and punch all else, electronic knitters draw the white as black, and color reverse.

Few tuck stitches amidst lots of plain knitting are likely to not distort the fabric very much or produce a noticeable texture. The fabric will lie fairly flat, and approach a width proportionately closer to that of stocking stitch using the same yarn. The outlines can serve as markers for the introduction of additional hand techniques ie tying objects or beads in the center of the shapes after knitting and prior to felting in order to obtain surface bubbles of non felted stitches, or marking areas for duplicate-stitch or other embellishments.

In some instances, thread lace repeats can provide DIY inspiration. With the color reversed, the structure for possible tuck can be observed and determined if suitable. In the bottom right image, those white solid lines are the easiest edit, shown in progress With the basic structure recognized, weaving punchcards may be suitable, not all need be color reversed. Electronic repeats may also be used directly or adapted for use on punchcard machines, providing the repeat unit is a factor of or up to a maximum of 24 stitches in width, which translates to 2,4,6,8,12, and 24, and repeated to the recommended minimum of 36 rows in height. For tuck stitch, those narrow vertical bars surrounded by black squares are the common factor. The StitchWorld pattern book charts require only matching a usable width for use in punchcard models since the knit stitches are shown as black squares. Here is a random selection 253 translates easily to this, it would need to be punched twice 251 is a bit more problematic. Half the repeat is wider than 24 stitches. Here it is readjusted to 24 stitches, the height is 32 rows which may just barely squeak by punched only once the repeat tiled to check proper alignments This repeat is from a Studio mylar sheet. It also may be used in punchcard machines after removing 2 columns, since only half the repeat is necessary, and it is 26 stitches in width. Color reverse is necessary. In electronic machines it is easily accomplished with a command or the flip of a switch/ push of a button. The white squares as given would produce loops on all the corresponding needles, with no stitch formation in those areas.  I chose to eliminate 2 columns from the blocks on the left. Tiling shows the amended repeat’s appearance, with the color reversed image for actual knitting to its the right. Repeats with a balanced number of black and white squares provide all over textures in fairly balanced fabrics. As the number of black squares on a field of speckled tuck stitches grows, the knit shapes may actually poke out from the surface of the knit, since those areas are not gathered in the same way as their surrounds. Yarn properties and tension also have an effect.
Design with very few black vertical single stitch “bars” are commonly found in patterns published for electronics, often also too large for for use on punchcard models. As with lace, where there are few black pixels on large fields of white, caution in trimming the image is necessary. Tiling once again helps one locate possible errors. An example of such an image tagged as being 42X62: tiled 42X62adjusting to avoid those 4 rows tucking consecutively, now 42X60Designing your own can begin with the choice of a template, such as this one, 24 stitches by 36 rows.  To begin with, I added a rectangle to the full template repeat on the left. To its right, the size of the rectangle then begins to be altered along with the addition of some all knit rows.  The center illustrates making certain the 4 stitch repeat aligns properly at the top and bottom of the new repeat. The test final repeat image is on the right. Working with a different shape, using copy and paste to place it,  adding a brick variation on the right, for punchcard full repeats of 24X40The matching electronic repeats for both, unless your download requires programming for the total number of needles in use:
Testing tuck stitch limits, breaking the side by side white square rule in all over patterning with moving blocks of 2 by 2 blank squares

A collection of previous posts
When more than one stitch tucks
Tuck stitch meets thread lace repeats and vice versa
Tuck lace trims (and fabrics) 2 
“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims (and fabrics 1)
Tuck and slip color striping

For those who enjoy hand techniques/slip stitch
A no longer “mystery pattern”
A hand-knit consult 

 

Ribber fabrics with stitch transfers between beds 1

These images provide partial views of garments shown in a recent Facebook MK group post,  followed by the “how-to” question A quick analysis leads to a list of assumptions that both are double bed fabrics, with stitches subtracted or added to create moving shapes on a striped ground. A color changer will be in use, so each color must be carried for 2 passes. The color used in the traveling shapes (red in my swatches) knits on both beds, the second color creating the alternate stripe on the background knits on only one bed. The second row of the red stitches is slipped while the white knits, so they become elongated, something that is reflected on the striping on the reverse, as well as on the knit side.
Though the ribber is in use, this is not a standard dbj fabric, so if automation is the goal, the color separation for the knit needs to be hand-drawn.
It is possible to move stitches to and from needle beds when knitting true DBJ with striper backing. This is one of my ancient swatches, every needle is in work on both beds except for areas where stitches have been transferred down to and up from the ribber.  The main bed is set to slip in both directions, the ribber set to knit. The suitable dbj separation is the one where each color in each row knits for 2 rows, whether performed by hand, using the 3 colors per row separation in img2track or the default separation in Passap. The Ayab HOP separation is awesome, works for any 3 color design with as little elongation as possible, but is not suited for this purpose. How-tos for DIY separations and their automated versions by programs for knitting more than 2 colors per row have been discussed in other posts.
The process may be reversed between beds. Stitches can be picked from the opposing bed to fill in needles emptied by transfers or brought into work empty for increases. The resulting eyelets may be left as a design element or filled in by picking up from adjacent stitches or ones on the ribber bed.
In the first swatch, all stitches will be in work on the knitting bed, while patterning stitches will be in selected groups on the ribber. When testing a concept it is best to start with a simple shape, contrasting colors,  on a limited number of stitches. To begin with, I went the easy route and tested the concept with a small racked pattern using only 5 ribber needles. The ribber slips for the 2 rows knit in the contrasting color in the ground, knits the pattern for 2 rows, requiring cams to be switched every 2 rows The goal is to be able to see and understand stitch formation. Production got cut short when I was faced with dropping individual stitches followed by the whole piece falling to the floor. In one of those drat it moments I realized that for the first time ever, with the knit carriage properly set to N, I had not, however, engaged it beneath the metal bar on the back of the bed, leaving it with its rear floating freely. A similar process on the Passap allows for playing easily with both racked colors because of the possible arrow and pusher settings on the back bed, but on Brother, this would require hand selection on the ribber on every row or a specific color separation for needle selection on the top bedSeeking automation, keeping things simple, here is a basic zigzag pattern in a repeat also executable on punchcard machines. The ribber is now set to knit throughout (N/N), the main bed to slip in both directions. End needle selection must be canceled when using the slip setting selectively or when working patterning with  needles completely out of work 

The color separation: the desired design needs to be expanded, with 2 blank rows between each pair of design rows The pattern on my 930 is knit as it appears in the chart, on the purl side. Punchcard knitters or users of other programs may need to mirror it to match my output  The process using 3 colors: the patterning color will be knit on needles preselected on the top bed. As shaping is about to begin, in this pattern, one needle preselected out indicates the location for an “increase”, one preselected back to B position a decrease  To perform the decrease, using a double eye tool to transfer the B position stitch down onto the ribber needle adjacent to the first needle in D position on the top bed As the carriages move to the opposite side a loop will form on the preselected empty needle, creating the increase on that side, keeping the width of the patterning stitches constant  In order for the patterning to remain correct, all needles on the top bed must be maintained in B position while not in use, or preselection may be incorrect, and increase loops will not be created, so, not this  A sideways view (for space consideration) of the knit still on the KM begins to show the distortion in the knit created by the movement of the stitches. The red yarn creates a single line where stitches are skipped on the reverse, a double one when it knits for 2 rows The repeat and the knit shown on both sides: Comparing the 2 color and 3 color versions: aside from the obvious increase in length, note that the slipped segments in red on the 3 color swatch are now composed of longer stitches since they are held for 2 additional rows, and the overall fabric is more puckered than the 2 color version. The curling at the sides is the nature of edge stitches, especially if the yarn used is wool. At times that may be used intentionally, as a decorative edge.

Repeats where the design charts require expansion to accommodate techniques quickly grow in length. The simple zig-zag doubled in length from 32 to 64 rows. I work things out in a spreadsheet, open a screengrab of the final choice in GIMP, index mode the result, scale it, and save the PNG for download to the 930. Long color separations are harder to achieve cleanly in GIMP alone but are also possible.

Returning to the 2 color pattern in the inspiration image and limiting the width to the 24 stitch punchcard restriction: a way to begin is to design a 2 color shape to approximate the repeat in the desired fabric and as in any other designs, check for repeat alignment by tiling prior to knitting to find any easily visible errors. The first single (ultimately 24X32) repeat, suitable for standard DBJ, has not been cropped properly in the top illustration. It is followed by the correct one  Using the same color separation as for the simple zig-zag shape, the design is expanded to include knit bed rows that will be skipped completely, resulting in the ribber alone knitting in the second color for those rows. It is now twice as long as the original, 24X64The planned proof of concept added a 4 stitch border on the right for a 28 stitch swatch centered with 14 stitches either side of 0. Tiling the repeat X2 again in height made it easier for me to plan how to manage transfers to expose the varying stripes in the ground.  Visual comparison to the movement in the inspiration knit:  As the number of needles in work on either of the 2 beds is increased, it is likely tension or yarn changes may be required. The first preselection row is from the right, toward the color changer. The stitches on the non selected needles are transferred to the bottom bed with the color change, only preselected needles will knit on both the top and bottom beds moving to the right and will do so again on the return to the left while preselecting an all blank row on the next pass to the right only the ribber knits in the ground color;     on the following pass to the left the second ground color row is knit on the ribber, with preselection happening at the same time for the next row in the pattern color The red, 3 strand cash-wool was giving me grief, so I switched it out for the blue. Both yarns are on the thin side but OK for testing the concept. The initial partial striped lozenge shape is finished with straightforward knitting The solid ground stitches in the inspiration fabric, however, have a sideways movement as the next striped lozenge gets shaped. In any standard knit such movements are achieved manually by using multiple stitch transfer tools. Planning ahead in a spreadsheet helps. My first test of the full repeat approaches the desired result, but the transitions beginning at design row 30 for the decreasing angle in the white yarn is a bit clumsy and requires a redo to make it easier and with clearer instructions Back to the drawing board in order to reduce the number of hand manipulations involved, with a shift in the center transition, the repeat in my spreadsheet is now 24 stitches wide, plus an additional 4 stitch border, and gets marked up with colors. I prefer to program the width of my knitting as opposed to a single repeat for all over patterning The resulting final 24 stitch repeat with the added 4 stitch border, now 68 rows highThe choice can be made based upon the preference of moving stitch groups to the right or to the left with the horizontal direction of the repeat adjusted for your KM model or software used.  I planned the transfers in this swatch toward the color changer after picking up the proper color, white, and before knitting the next row using it. The 930 png: The preselection row is from right to the left, toward the color changer. End needle selection is canceled. All stitches not selected on the main bed are moved down onto ribber needles beneath them. Needle selection takes care of the increasing angle in the surface yarn (white), as less of the striped ground becomes exposed. At this point, row 34 on the 930 counter, the single elongated slipped stitch is moved down onto the ribber. The next preselection will require the first transfer on the top bed, row 38. In my case, the movement was to the left. After the transfer is made, be certain to leave any empty needles in B position, and to bring all transferred stitch needles out to hold so they will knit in the slip setting as the carriage moves across the bed to the other side. The preselection will insure all necessary stitches will knit on the way back to the left When the top of the repeat is reached, row 68, the only needles selected will be those of the 4 stitch vertical columns and the design repeat will return to its start
My proof of concept swatch is  3.75 inches wide The inspiration sweater was knit using a wider repeat and significantly thicker yarn, reflected here in the small number of repeats composing the sweater body front Amending the 24 stitch repeat is possible, its length will grow in proportion to the increase in its width. The ratio of rows/ stitches to maintaining shaping by single stitch increases or decreases as in the original remains at 2.8. The lozenge is likely to remain elongated. Since at any point, the ribber will be knitting a large number of stitches single bed, the tension on its carriage needs to accommodate that. When the majority of needles are selected on the top bed, the fabric is knitting in every needle rib, which requires a tighter tension than when using the same yarns single bed. As a result tension adjustment to reduce the height of the knit repeat may be very limited.
The last test is now 84 rows high, with 5 stitch vertical bands. An added 6 stitch border on one side changes the programmed width up to 36 stitches so I don’t have to think about positioning the pattern on the needle bed. The extra stitch was eliminated at the start of the piece:   The off white yarn used here was the same thickness but not fiber content as in the previous swatch, 2/18 wool-silk vs Australian wool in the former. It is not as smoothly spun. The result shows an interesting similarity in length, though there are 16 additional rows in the pattern repeat. This time I programmed my repeat for stitch transfers on the knit bed to move away from the color changer. Eliminating the border on one side, a double repeat (30 stitches) measure 4 inches in width. To put the difference in scale to the sweater in perspective, an oversize garment with 40 inches in chest diameter would require 20 inches in width for the front piece. Ten single repeats, as opposed to the inspiration’s sweater 4, bring the total required the number of stitches to 150. With the added border of 5 stitches for matching side edges, the fabric is in the realm of possibility for producing a garment on the home knitting machine. My tension was set at 3/3 for all the swatches, with some teasing required on occasion to encourage stitches on the main bed to knit off properly. Ribber height adjustment can also have an effect on those numbers. I tend to do all my knitting with the slide lever in the center position. The double 30X84 repeat with no added border

Knitting with “unusual” fibers/ elastic 2

WORK IN PROGRESS 

My first DBJ tests from a previous post on knitting with elastic. used an axometric shape, with the tentative repeat worked out and in turn, elongated X2 and tiled to check alignment. Until doubled in height the original repeat is composed of an odd number of rows in height. Usually, double bed knitting relying on color changes or automatic DBJ KRC separations require an even number of rows in the motif. The first sample was knit using single-ply cotton and elastic yarns respectively, fed through separate upper tension disks but knit together as a single color. The swatch is 72 stitches in width but measures only 14.5 mm (5.7 inches) in width, producing a gauge of nearly 13 stitches for inch, not achievable when knitting with standard fibers on a standard 4.5 mm machine. The pattern is subtle, more visible on the knit side, hard to tell there are pockets in the knit. The cotton is space-dyed, and as true when using such yarns, that causes some confusion in immediately identifying a clear pattern. The ruffled effect is simply from a plain knit start and color-changing stripes to test tension and knittability on the planned needle width. Machine settings: opposite part buttons,  no liliHere the same pattern was executed on the same number of stitches with the white wool used above, but the elastic was plied with a 2/24 acrylic yarn and knit as DBJ with the blue, stretchy combination creating the solid color backing. A comparison in scale The same pattern repeat knit with striper backing is far less interesting 

The solid color backing in DBJ can be produced by changing ribber settings with each color change from N/N fo slip <– –> and back. I have sometimes knit DBJ with 4 carriages or with a third, knit-only carriage working the rows normally slipped by the ribber. The sinker plate for one knit carriage is altered as described in the post. The knitting requires that the ribber stops be removed, and that carriage(s) be off the bed on extension rails while the other(s) are in use so as not to damage the belt. The maximum width of the fabric is limited by the necessity of having the knit cleared on both sides with all carriage passes.
My mongrel set up includes a 930 bed, an 892 punchcard carriage with a magnet attached coupled with the 850 ribber carriage, and a 910 carriage with the modified sinker plate. As a bit of possible disaster prevention, the knit/ribber combo has an elastic to ensure the ribber stays on its own bed as well, while I grabbed extras to help support the rail on the other side just in case the 910 carriage went too far. Because when using the KRC separation the white squares knit first, I planned the repeat for 64 stitches color reversing the repeat used the FI and thread lace samples in the previous post.to this, I used a 2/18 wool at tensions 3/3 for the backing fabric and two strands of the elastic with no added changes to its yarn mast tension, at tension 7 in the single knit carriage.
Using this method of DBJ, which is the same as that used in 2 color quilting, when the ribber and knit carriage both knit, the fabric is sealed where there are needles selected on the main bed. When the ribber is set to slip in both directions, or the method here is used, the main bed only knits selected needles and skips the non selected ones, creating floats and pockets in the fabric in those areas. The appearance of the fabric when stretched and weighted, still between the beds and off Going the far more traditional route of traditional dbj with use of the color changer, striper backing with the ribber set to N/N yields a wider, flatter fabric with an interesting purl side while my very brief effort at attempting to knit with one side of the ribber set to knit, the other to slip, met with immediate dropped stitches by the elastic. The birdseye version had more of a bent on the surfaces of both colors. I stopped knitting when a few of the elastic stitches on the left purl side dropped off. It would appear at this point that the most interesting effects in the simplest to execute DBJ setting are ones with balanced positive and negative spaces in the design.

Previously I used the repeat on the top left, also shown tiled. The subsequent swatch was knit using the bottom 66X22 tiled repeat, planning to start KRC preselection from the left on a white square, the ribber set to N/NI found the fabric attractive on the purl side, but I was having issues with dropped stitches I could not explain that would need sorting out if producing larger swatches. Adding a third ply of elastic was disastrous at any tension. Better results occurred simply by increasing the ribber tension by 2 whole numbers, the knit tension by 1, and reverting to the previous yarn usage. There is a single dropped stitch in the elastic, and the result has much more of a 3D effect.

From automated lace edging pattern to doilies and ruffles

This information follows that provided in  lace edgings on Brother machines- automated with slip stitch 2 and lace meets hold and goes round 
More on holding techniques: back to that pie,
Revisiting miters, spirals, going square, round, and more, and
Holding/short rows: hand tech to chart to automating with slip stitch 1

These repeats are designed for use on electronic model knitting machines. Because of the mechanical difference in the way that 2 carriage selection works on punchcard machines, though some are presented as 24 stitch repeats, the designs would need to be modified prior to use on punchcard models. For a discussion of the required differences please see the post Doilies: Lace meets hold and goes round

Plotting out changes to a randomly selected previous repeat

The process can also be worked out directly in GIMP, ie in the orientation in which the repeats will be used for download to my 930. The original repeat was mirrored (A), eyelets created by transfers to the right were considered (B), 4 stitches in width were added to the 24 stitch width, transfers to the right began to be eliminated (C). The final repeat D, with all transfers to the left, was used to knit the sample. The test swatch in progress I used a short cast on comb for weight across the piece, moving it up cautiously on a regular basis It is helpful when starting in waste yarn or simply using plain knit rows at the bottom of a test swatch to choose a clearly contrasting color. Here I did not do so, the drawn line is to help define the start of the shape formation created by the holding sequences and eyelets. The eyelet on the outermost edge of the circumference “disappears” as that edge gets stretched to the max. Two eyelets in the diamond shapes are not formed properly

Switching to a rayon yarn for knitting the “doily”, made for easy and quick knitting.  The comb used for weight in the wool swatch was not necessary. A single claw from a small weight on the edge stitch a few rows below the knitting and moved up frequently helped insure that the last stitch on that side knit off properly and maintained its length knitting without a knit gauge can be dangerous, here a guess is made as to how many more units might be required to make the final shape go round
I committed to 8 wedges,  another attempt at a check for size prior to seaming the shape.Before joining the stitches permanently, a quick look to see if there was enough knitting to form that pie With the knit side as the expected public side of the piece, the work was scrapped off the machine after some wast knitting, one end was rehung with knit side facing and the  waste yarn was removed and the process was repeated with the open stitches at the other end of the piece
The least satisfactory and most visible join is the latch tool bind off. Grafting by hand off the machine is the least so. For the sake of ease in identifying open stitches easily, both methods would benefit from a couple more all knit rows between each segment as seen in the repeat in the original doily post in spite of the fact that the shape around the very center opening will change.
I choose to remove waste yarn before binding off, some prefer to wait. One row was knit across all the stitches. Things were in great shape until the yarn snagged on the far right in my closing knit row, so there is a bit of added bulk there from the rescue attempts to correct the problem.
The center opening was gathered. The stitches on its side knit together so infrequently the opening beside them is larger than in any other held areas. The ladders in those spaces were latched up to get rid of those holes.  The doily after a very quick and casual press:

Not a doily person but fond of ruffles? they will be shaped with added all knit rows. The first test for adjustments in a spreadsheet The resulting pattern and reject:
A: if the design is programmed in the wrong direction, the eyelets for the outside circumference should appear on the right of the purl side, not the left
B: the last pass by the knit carriage preselects no needles moving to the right, LC makes its first pass consistently on a row with no needles selected
C: remember to set the knit carriage to slip in both directions, or knitting will continue across the whole row and “holding” is lost
D: keep an eye on the resulting shape and consider if worth pursuing Planning for diamond rather than bow shapes, the repeat was changed from a 28X68 one to a wider, 32 X 64  The extra knit stitches on the “held” side make for easier joining of the ruffle to the body of the piece. The “diamond shape” is restored. Its shape has some distortion as the spiral is created. The test swatch was lightly pressed after its removal from the machine, just enough to help it stay flat. In yarns with “no memory” (possibilities other than wool) stitches will be set permanently with pressing and steaming. If the basic principle is understood, other stitch types may be combined with slip stitch rows including tuck stitch, slip stitch, and 2 color patterning, seen here in some seam as you knit ruffles I added to some of my shawls and garments 

Lace edgings on Brother machines- automated with slip stitch 2

Recently I have begun to look at lace edgings in a slightly different manner than in the past. I am looking back at my post from 2018, written while using the older version of Ayab software and working on a 910, and another including an edging written this month. Of late, most of my proof of concept swatches have been knit on a 930 using img2track for downloads.
A reminder: although I make an effort to include punchcard knitters in my writings, the full repeats as given and used for my test swatches and knit on an electronic are not suitable for use on punchcard machines as they are. For a discussion of the required design differences please see the post:  Doilies: Lace meets hold and goes round. The full repeat would need to be shortened to accommodate the fact that punchcard machines repeat the same preselection when the alternate carriage is used for the first pass from the opposite side.  Electronic machines advance a design row for each pass of each carriage.
When using the slip stitch setting and changing the number of needles in work, or having ladders created by having needles out of work in the A position, the knit carriage end needle selection needs to be canceled (KCII).
Many early published trim repeats were intended for use with hand transfers combined with plain knit rows. Such designs are easily translated for use on electronics with this method.

I am using a punchcard machine knit carriage with an added magnet as my knit carriage (KC). Adding needle selection to one side of the 910 electronic LC eliminated issues I had previously encountered with some inaccurate needle selections. The arrows indicate the direction of the adjustable slots in the mechanisms.The 910 LC is also missing its magnet (left), gluing on a magnet in the position shown below made it usable again on the electronic The direction of the repeat matters, its programming may vary with KM models or the software used to download them. These instructions are intended for holding to happen in 2-row sequences to and from the right, and for the eyelets at the outer circumference of the pie shape to occur on the right of the purl side as you knit (B). If those same eyelets occur on the left (A), the repeat needs to be mirrored horizontally.  Reworking some of the former swatches in no particular order, beginning with this one: The 2018 repeat is charted on the left, the amended 24 stitches wide repeat is in the center, and the mirrored image for download to my 930 is on the right. Having the repeat 24 stitch width allows for positioning the knitting other than on the very center of the machine following the markings on any 4.5 mm punchcard machine needle tape. If this is done in electronics, the design should then be programmed for all over patterning, not for single-motif.
Splitting the bottom 2 all black row of pixels/punched holes and moving the one row to the very top of the design is another of the new changes.
I prefer to plot out these repeats at the start of the decreasing angle. The first row then sets up the needle bed preselection on the widest stitch count of the pattern. The original repeat was charted using Numbers and scaled in Gimp to produce a downloadable file. The method as it was worked out in chart form, and symbols usedThe resulting, more successful swatch 2018 failed attempt at a continuous patternCharting it out anew: on the right is the amended repeat adding 4 more rows to the top of the originalThe resulting swatches:
A= the LC  switched to fine lace “accidentally” for a few rows.
B= on the very edge eyelets are single on decreasing angles, double on increasing ones.
C=Though the very edge has those differences, the number of knit stitches between the inner shape on the left and the outer one on the right is fixed.
D= the lines created by the transfer sequences to create the diamond shapes are far more successful. These charts illustrate the above repeat on the left. On the right, the edge transfers are imagined reduced to single eyelets on the increasing angle. In turn they would result in a wider area of knitting in the zigzag shape between the curved edge and the diamond shape. Another possible solution follows, using expanded graphs with extra LC passes 
“A Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics” by Susanna Lewis (1981) is the ultimate resource for punchcard knitting for knitters with any amount of experience. On page 223 she offers a repeat for a lace trim. It is shown on the left below, after being reorganized to start on the full 24 stitch width row of the edging. In the center chart, rows of black pixels are added, and on the right, the full electronic repeat is shown mirrored for download to the 930 2818, a 26 stitches wide swatch2020, 24 stitch version  The curved edge is noticeably different and more uniform than in edgings where the increasing angle is formed only by a single stitch being transferred to the next needle on the left, creating an eyelet immediately to its right.
The above design, as well as the Brother one published and shared at the bottom of the 2018 post, add two more passes of the LC for stepped decrease/ increase shaping. Three needle positions are involved in each sequence. The decreasing angle will have a single edge stitch, followed by a right-hand transfer with 2 stitches on that needle, and an eyelet to their right after the four LC passes are completed. The increasing angle will be formed by two single edge stitches with an eyelet to their right as well after those four LC passes are completed. Moving on to the Brother published chart at the bottom of the 2018 post: the original is on the left, readjusted for planning to begin with the decreasing curve in the center, and charted for download on the right (mirrored in turn for use on the 930). The original was said to be 68 rows high but proved to be 72. It is also 18 stitches at the widest point, not 24.  I did not follow the publication’s directions for alternating between fine and normal lace either, simply left the LC set to N.The test swatch A fellow Ravelry member reminded me of Tessa Lorant’s lace publications. I had forgotten I actually owned this single one from 1981. Upon examining it, I rediscovered her patterns, many for hand knitting with accompanying written row by row instructions and charts, others at the back of the pub, with punchcard machine repeats.
The 24 stitch card designs provided were for use on Knitmaster/Studio 260 and 360 machines. The repeats are typical of lace often referred to as “simple”, a specialty of carriages that are capable of transferring and knitting in single carriage passes. For some ways to use such cards on Brother models please see post, or search subsequent shares.
The increases and decreases are achieved through row tracking and hand manipulation. Many of the edgings pictured are very open, and the suggestion is made that they be starched. Using different yarns and working in trims that contain more stocking stitches in their body make for more practical use nowadays.
Transfers are made in the same direction, which may factor into the results biasing. The edges in some, in addition,  are shaped with multiple increases and decreases. If knitting long strips, a small piece of scrap yarn with weight on it may help keep the cast on stitches knitting and transferring properly.
I am not sharing any of her published directions, only providing ideas for analyzing and converting some of the punchcard repeats.
The first is from page 48, marked up for identifying transfers to the right (later decreases, magenta line), and transfers to the left (later increases, cyan line). A template with solid black pairs of rows to indicate slip stitch knitting sequences is a good place to start and can be expanded to suit the repeat. The yellow squares on the right indicate a beginning plan for increases and decreases. They and black squares to their left would be eliminated from the final design. Working one chart through to knitting: the bottom left image shows part of the original card. Magenta squares indicate transfers to the right and cyan ones to the left. The straight edge border with the larger number of eyelets was a bit fiddly to knit, so the second option is also offered and tested. The repeats were mirrored for actual knitting on my 930I knit to the left after all the needles were preselected at the end of the decreases and then cast on over the empty needles on the left, bringing them out to hold so they would be knit for the second row as the knit carriage returned to the right side. A garter carriage weight seemed to be enough to help anchor down the newly formed stitches during subsequent transfers. Making a pattern design more one’s own: part of the original design from p. 52, split so the pattern may begin on the widest part of the repeat, punchcard “holes” marked for left and right transfers Here it was charted out in Numbers with the intent to produce the 2 stitches stitch edge along the outer curve and a less open one on the straight vertical side This sort of knitting can be a bit fiddly. I believe if I were to produce any such trims in great lengths and had the option, I would choose to dedicate a punchcard KM to the project so it would be easier to step away from and return to it as the spirit moved me.
If any loops are formed (A) and rows are not unraveled to correct the situation, it is best not to tug hard with the work on the machine. Stitch sizes on several needles may be altered, and the movement of the pairs of eyelets may become distorted. Because the knit carriage must be moved to the far right to be disengaged from the belt, this will tend to pull down extra yarn from the tension mast. A very gentle tug at the start of the first knit row should keep loops from forming.
The condition of the latches and needles is important. In stocking stitch knitting one of the signs of a “bad needle” is stitches tucking repeatedly on a needle that is not intended to be patterning in any way. The stitch in the hook is joined by a loop that does not knit off properly.  It helps to start in a light color and a “friendly” yarn. Clearly identifiable stitch formation helps to develop an understanding of its structure. Eyeing the row of transfers upon their completion helps pick up improperly transferred or dropped stitches, saves runs that result if the latter go unnoticed before continuing to knit. At times there may appear to be a needle problem with a loop sitting over a needle or a dropped stitch and attempts to form “properly” knit stitches in transfer rows will create simple stockinette.  Eyelets will not form properly, and stitches will want to get longer and not maintain their shapes. B and C point to the resulting differences in structures. The last Tessa sample, from page 60, brings up the topic of large eyelet lace, also revisited in a recent post.  I thought the 24-stitch repeat too narrow, I expanded it to 32 and added eyelets on the straight edge.
I began by splitting the card in order to begin the pattern at its widest point and decreased the number of eyelets in the shapes to allow for automatic shaping. In these punchcards, rows with no transfers are part of the program, are free of any holes. Black pixels are used to program slip stitch all knit rows. More transitions in planning: two of the rejected swatches Consideration needs to be made in terms of whether some small ladders are a design element or not, hooking up “floats” helps reduce or eliminate them on decreasing angles on both sides of the shape, but the resulting eyelets appear a bit larger and different than the rest.
When at first I attempted 2 single eyelets following each other at the intersection of the shaps I needed to cast on after a single float was created between the center needles and followed by the first all knit row from right to left. That turned out to be unnecessary in the final swatch with the number of eyelets increases immediately after the single one in the final repeat.  Using it will place a transfer left and a transfer right, holding down the loops in the 2 hooks affected on the second knit pass to the right. Leaving the bottom float alone echoes the remaining fabric.
The image on the left illustrates the result of not casting on on that center eyelet if it is to be repeated. The other photos show picking up floats and hooking them up in needles not receiving any transfers. The Tessa trims are knit in fine yarns. This shows a portion the inspiration large eyelet trim, note the appearance of the space between the two center eyelets is different My version with the floats hooked up and onto the needles with no multiple stitches already on them at the center eyelet as the pattern shifts:
Sometimes less is more, here extra hookups are not used, making the trim quicker and easier to knit. At this point, I am experiencing sticky latches, not improved by light oiling, likely to be fatigued from constant use of the center 24 stitches. The needles do not look obviously in need of replacement. One alternative is to swap and shift the center 24 needles to a less used part of the needle bed.
Another image of the Tessa sample in repeat followed by my own test swatch At the top of the piece I did have to deal with closing the eyelets to facilitate 2 knit rows and binding off. I prefer to work from left to right, dealing with the right side of the loops first: drop loop on the right side, use a tool to enter the float created from its back twist tool and yarn clockwise lift the e-wrap onto the empty needle on the right Repeat the process with the loop on the left of that needle pair, and do so across the bed before continuing to knit. The wraps will create full stitches on the next pass of the knit carriage.

An example working with a randomly selected pattern from Stitchworld, #156: A: the pattern is divided and shifted so as to plan the trim beginning with decreases rather than increases
B: with the superimposed table grid in numbers, the eyelet transfer squares were traced, adding all black rows for slip stitch selection of all knit stitches in between each transfer sequence
C: increases and decreases are planned by removing black squares
The image was then scaled in GIMP, and downloaded with img2track.
The straight edge eyelet detail alternates the direction of transfers to the right and in turn to the left in each segment.
On the curved edge, increases and decreases were performed manually prior to each 2 knit rows. Empty needles need to remain in work positions throughout.
I chose to use the fully fashioned method for shaping, moving 2 stitches to the left for decreases, and two to the right for increases, then picking up from below the adjacent stitch to their left to fill in the empty needle. This was slower than having planned needle selection for eyelets do the work of shaping.

A very similar charting process may be used to construct circular “doilies”, where the slip stitch rows are used as a substitute for hand-selecting needles to holding/ short row positions. I have revised my 2011 post on lace meets hold and goes round/, plan on following that up with one using edging repeats to achieve that type of shape.